Everything You Wanted to Know About Soil Wetters But Were Afraid to Ask

Soil surfactants are staples of turf maintenance programmes to treat dry patch, mitigate soil water repellency and to improve rootzone water delivery, water use efficiency, nutrient access and enhance plant health. However, how do these products function in soils? Products claim to push, pull, drain, place, or hold water, or to solubilise or strip hydrophobic coatings off soil particles. Is this paradigm factual? 

This Focus On session will review formulation information and claims of products in the UK and EU market and provide turf managers with the ability to make informed decisions in surfactant selection. 

Learning Outcomes: 
• How to review publicly available information on surfactant (wetting agent) formulations sold in the UK and EU markets 
• Differentiate between surfactant classes and their impacts on plants, microbes and soils 
• Clarify what surfactants can and cannot do in managing soil water and water repellency 
• Review relevant research on product performance and contrast with simplistic demonstrations 
• Become familiar with novel surfactant and non-surfactant management strategies and tools 
• How to make decisions on product claims 

Presented by Stan Kostka, Visiting Scholar, Pennsylvania State University-Berks Campus 

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