[NAFEX] Re: Surround information

Terence L Bradshaw madshaw at innevi.com
Tue Mar 4 14:11:52 EST 2003

I am currently working on a research project looking at the non-target 
effects of Surround use on apple trees in the northeastern US (Vermont) 
.  We are applying the material in a spray program as an organophosphate 
replacement, complete with replications, controls, and repeated measures in 
a three-year study.  While it is far too early to discuss results, I can 
weigh in on a few things strictly from my experience, and not from the 
research/extension viewpoint.

>2 lb.  Basically, Surround is nothing more than kaolin clay
>plus a sticker/spreader.  If you are going to be using straight kaolin
>it might be worth your while to buy a sticker/spreader and mix it right
>in the tank.

Surround is much more than just kaolin plus a spreader sticker.  The grind 
process is very important to its effectiveness.  It has also been processed 
so as to be hydrophilic, allowing it to be suspended in the spray 
solution.  Earlier formulations were hydrophobic and required such things 
as ethanol to be added to the mix in pretty high concentrations to allow 
the material to mix.  Not only was spraying this stuff dangerous, but there 
were some phytotoxicity issues.  The cost savings of buying bulk kaolin vs. 
surround are not enough to justify poor efficacy and spraying problems.

>KAOLIN Where did you buy it and how much did it cost?
>Is Gardens Alive and their associates the only source for SURROUND?
>In the discussion 6 or 8 months ago, they seemed to be the supplier
>(They are advertising it for $1,40 to $1.60 per gallon (before

I get my material from my local (commercial) pesticide dealer UAP 
Northeast, at $0.65 per pound.  It is not a restricted use product so you 
can buy it even from the same guys that sell chemicals to farmers.  Ask a 
grower in your area where they get their spray materials, or support FEDCO, 
Gardens Alive, etc. if they carry it and its convenient.  With the loss of 
many of the organophosphates for home use, I suspect that Agway will start 
carrying it in the future as its use becomes more widespread and understood.

>Did the two materials in suspension cause any wear on the pump
>assembly of your backpack sprayer? Solo has advertised two types of
>pump assemblies, one being better for material in suspension (such as
>kaolin and Surround).

Surround/kaolin are actually pretty "soft" as far as abrasiveness goes, but 
anytime you're running wettable powders through a sprayer you should use a 
diaphragm pump. Also, agitation is essential to keep the stuff in suspension.

>Can you save the spray mix over the weekend in the sprayer or a
>bucket to use later, with no reaction or breakdown taking place
>(other than with the sticker-spreader)?

It won't break down, but it will settle out.  I left some in a spray tank 
overnight and the settled clay plugged the intake line, drain plug, and was 
a bear to get mixed back up.  Mix it and sprat it immediately, unless you 
can keep it agitated.

When mixing it in small loads:  I have always sprayed it in a tank with at 
least 35, usually 50 gallons at a time.  I nearly fill the tank, then add 
the material slowly with the agitation on.  Occasionally I will have to 
shut the pump down and clean out the strainer...one grower I know takes all 
filter screens out when using it, although that is not necessary.  It may 
be helpful to premix it before adding it to the sprayer, but if you don't 
use enough water it will turn into a sludgey mess. Once I get my home 
orchard planted this year and start using it with "homeowner" type spray 
equipment, I will have to fine-tune my strategy.

Glad to help with any other question.

Terence Bradshaw
1189 Wheeler Road
Calais, VT 05648
madshaw at innevi.com

The views represented by me are mine and mine only................

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