What is a wetting agent?
Some soils and growing media are naturally ‘hydrophobic’, which means they repel water rather than absorbing it. Left untreated, if the soil doesn’t retain enough water for the needs of the crop then yields can suffer. A wetting agent overcomes this hydrophobicity.
What are the different types of wetting agent?
The active ingredient is usually a ‘surfactant’, which behaves in the same way as a detergent: a long molecule that contains a ‘tail’ and a hydrophilic ‘head’. The head can be positively charged (cationic), negatively charged (anionic) or carry no charge (non-ionic). While all three types are used in detergents, non-ionic surfactants are generally regarded as safer for plants. H2Flo is formulated with non-ionic surfactants.
Surfactants exhibit different characteristics, according to the length of their molecules, and this is often exploited to deliver wetting agents for particular use cases. For example, penetrant wetting agents ensure water percolates down the soil profile. But most wetting agents are formulated with longer chain surfactant molecules. These are designed to be residual, remaining within the soil to reduce repellency and improve moisture availability over a longer period.
ICL’s advanced wetting and water conservation agents
ICL’s advanced wetting and water conservation agents lead the way in water conservation products. When substrates are dry, as they often are with new plantings, or when there is inconsistent watering, a wetting agent will reduce the surface tension of the water. This reduced surface tension, thanks to the wetting agent,e agent increases both the vertical and horizontal movement of water in the soil. Wetting agents allow farmers to improve their water use efficiency.
Wetting agents can be applied as an initial humectant and during normal irrigation where they aid the movement of fertilizers. Quickly absorbed by all growing media, our wetting agents are effective throughout the substrates and soil.not just at the surface Choose the most advanced wetting agents available to optimize water use efficiency, save time, and save energy.
How often are wetting agents applied?
Several factors will influence application frequency, including the formulation and the dose. Residual wetting agents tend to be applied monthly for greatest effect, but product labels will always indicate typical programmes with recommendations based on trial work.
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