Competence areas



France, Global




June 2015


The perfect recipe

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What started as a small seed breeding business is now the heart of innovative seed-applied technologies at Bayer CropScience. In 2015, Méréville celebrates its 100th year anniversary – time for a recap.
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Bayer SeedGrowth Coatings facility in Mereville, France

Outside of Paris, approximately 70 km from the French capital, a team of around 40 people work on formulas for seed coatings – recipes that are crucial for the treaters, planters, and growers across the globe. There can be between 10 and 15 specific film coatings for one type of seed surface. And the huge variety of coatings is constantly evolving due to new innovations that enable seed-applied products to better stick to the seeds, controlling dust-off and the abrasion of additives.

Huge business potential

What initially started in 1915 as a seed breeding business of wheat, emerged quite quickly into the sugar beet seed business due to expertise and business potential. George Martins breeding business of sugar beet took off and soon the first products, Céres Number 1 and Number 2 were launched. Céres, in the ancient Roman religion the goddess of agriculture, did not only serve as the name of the company itself, but also as the first brand of sugar beet varieties that Céres sold.
And still today, in 2015, the Bayer SeedGrowth Coatings facility in Méréville not only commercially treats sugar beet seeds but also develops new coating solutions for this crop. “The sugar beet seed is a really complex seed,” explains Marc Andrieux, Global Head SeedGrowth Technology, Services and Coatings at Bayer CropScience. “With its irregular shape, which resembles a star, planting the sugar beet seed precisely is pretty difficult. Céres was the first company in the world that invented and patented the pelleting process in 1946.” And today the formula of the pellet is still developing constantly, having positive effects on germination, drilling, and efficient planting in the field. After the first steps in planting and sowing technology, Céres invested in the seed protection business – in film coatings.

“Our broad range of Peridiam solutions allows us to meet the specific needs of our customers in all major crops.”

Robert Puhl, Business Development Bayer SeedGrowth Coatings

The flagship brand, Peridiam, which was launched in 1987, is still on the market with a growing product range, including Peridiam Evolution and Peridiam Ferti. “It’s a constant challenge to develop coatings to protect the seed, having the additives stick to it and making sure that germination, sowability, flowability, and dustcontrol are tackled,” says Marc Andrieux.

All competences under one roof

In 2002, Bayer acquired the entire set of activities of Céres. With the launch of the competence brand Bayer SeedGrowth in 2013, Céres also moved under the brand umbrella with its name. “With this dedicated integrated center, we can not only develop but also produce and market film coatings. This efficiency is quite important due to the short life cycle of coatings in this dynamic business,” explains Marc Andrieux. The development of a fungicide or insecticide may take up to 10 years; however, the product will stay on the market for 10 to 20 years. That differs in the film coating sector, where besides a quite brief development of 2 to 3 years until market rollout, the lifespan of a coating is just about 5 to 6 years.
“To balance the stickiness and the flowability is one of the main aspects in the development of film coatings,” says Marc Andrieux. And that’s what Marc Andrieux and the team in Méréville are working on – the right recipe that blends all perfectly and stable. The farmer’s high yield is the seed company’s efficient processing. These critical parameters are evolving more efficient with film coatings as well. Having the right coating shortens the time of application and the packaging of the bags. This gains time and reduces costs effectively up to 5 %. “Take an airplane: if it has the right shape and the surface is smooth and clean, the machine is faster, arrives earlier, and saves fuel. This also applies to film coatings and that’s why the perfect recipe is so important,” explains Marc Andrieux.

Benefit from State-of-the-art seed-applied technologies

Bayer’s Peridiam coatings improve seed treatment quality and support on-seed performance. That is why both farmers and breeders trust in the value of our coatings technology:

  • Improved adhesion and coverage
  • Reduction of dust emissions by up to 95 %
  • Protection of operators and beneficials
  • Branding and visual differentiation through coloring
  • Even distribution of seed treatment product
  • Improved flowability of treated seeds by up to 15 %
  • Enhanced sowability on the field
  • Micronutrients to promote plant growth
  • Validated seed safety
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