Agriculture is an extremely important part of the economy, whose aim has first and foremost been the production of food. Moreover, plant cultivation and animal husbandry provide various raw materials for the food, shoe, chemical, textile, and many other industries.
The share of agriculture in the economy of individual countries varies considerably, and employment levels in this sector range from a few per cent in highly developed countries to as much as several dozen per cent in countries with slower economic growth. Intensive agriculture, also known as industrial agriculture, has become more and more popular as the world’s population increases. It is focused on maximum yield and profit, using considerable financial outlays and significant chemicalisation and mechanisation. Obtaining adequate productivity levels in the industry is possible, inter alia, due to the application of proper chemicals.
Agrochemicals comprise all chemical compounds used in agriculture, including pesticides, adjuvants, growth regulators, mineral fertilizers, as well as feed additives in animal husbandry. Plant protection products contain various different ingredients. Active substances used to control detrimental organisms and unwanted plants are some of the most important. Besides, these preparations can contain oils and organic solvents, as well as numerous functional additives with emulsifying, wetting, anti-freezing, anti-scaling, dispersing or anti-foaming properties. Adjuvants are a particularly important group of products used in plant cultivation. Their significance and popularity are constantly increasing due to the numerous benefits of their use. They cover all the substances of plant protection products or ingredients added directly to the tank of the sprayer. They are aimed at improving biological activity and the physicochemical properties of the spraying solution. An important role of adjuvants is to decrease the surface tension of the working solution, as this facilitates and improves the effectiveness of plant treatment and perfoliant fertilization. Increased adhesion of the preparation and enhanced spreading on the surface is necessary when plant leaves are covered with waxes. This is also of utmost importance due to the variety of shells which protect pest organisms, and prevent the spraying solution from penetrating into the organisms.