Answer: Surfactants, also known as additives or adjuvants, improve pesticide coverage, thus reducing the amount needed and the risk of drift. When added to a pesticide, a surfactant reduces the surface tension between two unlike materials. For instance, it may help oil and water mix to form a spray, or it may help spray droplets stick to a leaf.
Many pesticide products contain surfactants, and some products suggest adding a surfactant when you mix the pesticide for spraying. The most common surfactants include suspension agents to help keep a pesticide suspended, disperants to enhance dispersion of the spray, or spreading and sticking agents, which increase wetting of leaves, fruits and stems, and improve the material's adherence to a plant surface.
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