Seed Technology Techniques
Your seeds aren't just an investment, they're also the foundation of your harvest, your business, and your reputation. Our solutions help you get the most from your seeds.
With pelleting, we coat seeds with inert materials to change their size and shape for improved plantability. We modify the size and density of the seed to enable precise metering during mechanical planting. Pelleting adds enough material so that the original shape of the seed changes and becomes somewhat spherical. If you’re planting a crop that grows from small or irregularly shaped seeds, such as lettuce, pelleting can help make planting significantly easier on you and your equipment. Pelleting turns a long thin seed into a larger, round-shaped seed, so seeds can be singulated much more readily in the field. This helps you place seeds precisely, which is a great advantage for crops like onion, which need equal planting distances to generate uniform bulb development.
We pellet seeds by applying solid particle fillers to the seed using a binder or adhesive. This forms a spherical shape (more or less) for easy dispersal in mechanical planters. Pelleting significantly changes the original size, shape, and weight of a seed. The weight can increase from 1000% to 4000% (a 10:1 to 40:1 ratio).
Priming is a consideration for seeds that are sensitive to high heat, seeds that require light for germination, and for growers who want more vigorous, uniform stands. High temperatures can induce dormancy in some seeds, especially lettuce, during germination. Priming is a water-based process performed on seeds to help them germinate and emerge from the soil uniformly, which helps enhance stand establishment and lets you harvest more cartons per acre. Priming decreases the time span between the emergence of the first and the last seedlings. Priming also increases the rate of emergence so the stand establishes itself faster.
Encrusting is the technique of adding a small amount of material to a seed to enable accurate mechanical seed metering. Growers who are primarily concerned with reducing double or multiples rather than consistent seed spacing often choose to encrust their seeds. Encrustment is most often used on crops that benefit from seed singulation but don’t require post-emergence thinning. Encrusted seeds can be used in greenhouses or out on the field. This addition of material changes the shape of the raw seed—but only minimally. Encrusting is more economical than pelleting.
Encrusting adds more weight to the finished product than film coating and significantly less weight than pelleting. Generally, encrusting increases the weight of the seed from 150% to 350% (.015:1 to .035:1 ratio).
Film coating is the method of encapsulating a seed with a very thin layer of synthetic polymer or similar material. Film coating is ideal for seed species that do not require pelleting for precision planting. Film coating ensures that the seed is safely covered (dustless) after the uniform applicaton of chemical treatments to insure worker and end user safety. This method of covering the seed after application of seed treatments has greatly enhanced worker and end user safety.
Seed Applied Plant Protectants
Seed applied plant protectants add weeks and weeks of protection—not only to seeds, but also the plants that emerge and grow from the seeds. These protectants help fight against fungi, insects, and transplant shock.They also enhance seedling emergence, plant stand establishment and early-season vigor, and protect yield potential. We offer our clients FarMore® Technology Pak protectants from Syngenta.
It’s quite common to mix, match, and combine the above technologies. Combining priming with pelleting is our widely requested grouping. We also combine priming and/or pelleting with seed applied plant protectants not just for the seeds but for seedling health for many weeks after plant emergence.