Growers use tank mixes all the time to apply all of the required ag inputs in an efficient manner. Every one of these mixes is different and while many will not cause any problems, some formulations are not compatible with each other and cause a big mess and a bigger headache. Ag professionals can use a couple of techniques to avoid tank mix compatibility issues in their sprayer.
When mixing products, growers should add products to the spray tank in a specific order to avoid mixing problems. While growers need to consult the labels on the products they are using for specific mixing instructions, generally products should be added to the tank using the W-A-L-E-S method
If growers have a specific tank mix that they are concerned with, a small “jar” test can save a lot of hard work and money. In this test, we mix the products that would be in the tank mix in a small, clear, pesticide-safe container at the same concentrations as the tank mix. We can then evaluate the jar test and examine the compatibility of the products in the mix. It is much easier to dispose of a small container of incompatible mix rather than clean out a large sprayer tank full of the same mix.
If you are unsure about a specific mix and would like to do a small “jar” test, most UGA county agents (with the help of UGA Extension Weed Scientists and Syngenta) have a tank mix compatibility kit (see right) that they can use to assist you in this process.
If you have any tank mix questions, contact your local extension office for more information.