Renewable Farming

The big droplet poses a challenge for uniform leaf coverage

A coarse spray to cut drift calls for WakeUP to assure coverage and absorption

A TeeJet ad in the April Wallaces Farmer says chemical producers recommend the “Turbo TeeJet Induction Spray Tip” for “ultra coarse droplets” allowing only 2% “driftable fines.” A coarse droplet intensifies your need for WakeUP Summer, so big droplets clear-coat the leaf and absorb immediately.

April 16, 2018 — We’ve presented the same point many times: A coarse foliar spray droplet reduces drift and evaporation. But unlike average surfactants, only WakeUP Summer assures that big droplets spread across the leaf, soften the leaf cuticle and penetrate quickly into the leaf’s phloem circulation tubes. That absorption is equally important. A “sticker” may hold solutions on the leaf longer, but your foliar product needs to penetrate quickly into leaves to do its work. Leaving a costly chemical on the leaf surface allows it to volatilize.

The big droplet poses a challenge for uniform leaf coverage


The following time-sequence photos show WakeUP Summer at work. Each of these three young corn leaves is given one big drop from a pipette, as a big challenge for sheeting out and absorbing. The droplet on the top leaf in each photo is our well water with no WakeUP Summer. The middle leaf is well water with WakeUP Summer added at our recommended rate for foliar application. The lower leaf is Pursanova energized water with WakeUP Summer added at our recommended rate for foliars. The Pursanova system reduces surface tension about 10%, slightly intensifying the surfactant and penetration benefits of WakeUP.


Low surface tension in the WakeUP droplets
allows spray solution to hug the leaf




 Immediately as the drops are released from the pipette tubes, you can see how surface tension in ordinary well water causes a rounded dewdrop bead to form. Drops with WakeUP in them are fairly flat, right away. At the end of the first minute, they’re starting to spread in all directions. The stop watch in our iPhone recorded the time elapsed after the drops were simultaneously placed.

WakeUP is different from other surfactants.
It creates colloidal micelles in water, which have a negative charge
and repel each other to drop surface tension.



Three minutes after placing the droplets, the ordinary well water is still sitting like a BB on the leaf without absorbing. (We had to place it in a slightly cupped area to keep it from rolling off the leaf.) WakeUP-treated water is wicking its way across the leaf, even though it was also placed in a cupped area of the leaf, because surface tension in WakeUP water is lower than surface tension of the leaf. “Ultra coarse droplets,” as recommended by TeeJet, would hit the leaf at about 70 drops per square inch. If this droplet size and density hits a leaf, and the solution contains WakeUP Summer, it would totally clear-coat the leaf within a few seconds as the droplets coalesce.


The WakeUP-treated drops keep spreading out and soaking in.




Ten minutes into the experiment, WakeUP-treated drops have seeped more widely across the leaf. Ordinary water hasn’t soaked in at all.  If you use tips with “ultra coarse droplets,” the spray solution would have penetrated the corn leaf by now, feel dry to the touch, and be rain-fast.

Edges of spray pools have started to absorb into the plant.
A coarse spray would have seen droplets coalesce
into a uniform sheen within a minute or two.


After 30 minutes, even the big “pools” of spray solution from the single drop laid down by the pipette are starting to absorb. These leaves were clipped from corn at the three-leaf stage, and thus their phloem systems aren’t operating like they would if attached to the entire plant. Living phloem tubes would be sponging up spray material and carrying it systemically through the plant.







The two photos of soybean leaves below show you a live field example of WakeUP in the spray solution, versus no WakeUP.  We used a coarse-droplet spray tip in both cases. Fuzzy soybean leaves present dew and other arriving droplets with lots of “standoff,” as the leaf hairs tend to block moisture from connecting with the leaf cuticle. Look closely at dew on soybeans, for example, and you’ll see the fine dewdrops perched on the points of leaf hairs.

However, WakeUP Summer reduces the surface tension of water from a normal 70 dynes down to 20 or 30, so water laced with WakeUP Summer coats the leaf cuticle in a thin, glossy layer. Then, WakeUP Summer’s colloidal micelles bond with carbon compounds in the leaf cuticle and temporarily soften the water-resistant leaf barrier — which is there to prevent excess evaporation. Your sprayed payload of nutrients, biologicals or crop “protection” product absorbs into the leaf palisade cells. Inside the leaf, WakeUP reduces surface tension in sugar solutions manufactured by the leaf. This conserves energy needed to ionically “pump” leaf sugars out of the leaf, through the phloem tubes to nutrient destinations such as roots and seed development.

These photos were shot in 2015. Since then, we’ve refined and improved WakeUP Summer even more!


Sprayed soybean leaf with no WakeUP Summer in the solution


Same soybean leaf, but sprayed with a solution containing
1 ounce of WakeUP Summer in two gallons of water


WakeUP Summer is our formulation designed for foliar use as a powerful surfactant, leaf penetrant and internal carrier of foliar-applied nutrients.  

WakeUP Spring is a “softer, more gentle” formulation for two purposes:

1. Mobilizing in-furrow nutrients, live microbial products and biostimulants. We’re excited to see our WakeUP Spring sales triple this season because it means that farmers’ use of in-furrow technologies is accelerating. It’s a cost-effective way to apply biologicals and micronutrients.

2. Spraying WakeUP Spring at 5 ounces per acre on crops at the two-leaf stage amplifies internal flow of leaf sugars to roots. This surge of sugars and other nutrients to the roots also increases root exudates which fuel mycorrhizae and other microbes with the energy they need to dissolve soil nutrients, which they pipeline directly into fine root hairs. This is all a symbiotic cycle.