Competence areas

Coatings, Equipment


United States




September 2014

Bayer helping to secure a bright future for this key crop


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Soybeans used to be a neglected crop – but not any more. Soya prices have been rising steadily in the recent years and market analysts predict a bright future. In the US, soya is now the No. 2 crop after corn. Bayer SeedGrowth business has contributed to this positive development by protecting farmers' investment.

“Soybean has become more profitable.”

Skip Long, Merschman Seeds, Iowa

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Bean leaf beetle defeated

“The bean leaf beetle used to be a real issue. It's an early pest, and if it came on, the bean was done. You had to replant. When Bayer introduced Gaucho in 2005, it opened a window of opportunity. With Gaucho, the soybean became more profitable,” says Skip Long, Technical Manager and Field Researcher at Merschman Seeds. His company is based in Iowa, the corn and soybean belt of the United States.

“Farmer first mentality”

As an innovative seed company, Merschman Seeds is always keeping an eye on new developments to make sure they don’t miss anything.
“We have a farmer-first mentality. We do all we can to get them great seed solutions. And seed treatment brings them the best, protecting their investment. Replanting is not an option. That is why there is great value in our seed treatment.”
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Comprehensive seed treatment offering

In 2011 Bayer decided to offer seed companies like Merschman more than a product. Integrating the seed treatment offering into a comprehensive Bayer SeedGrowth portfolio, the teams tied a neat package by adding service, machinery and film coatings. “Our coatings give the grower the assurance that what is applied stays on the seeds,” says Bayer SeedGrowth Product Manager Ethan Luth. Preventing dust development, the coatings also give better stewardship to environment, the pollinators and the users. “Our dedicated seed-treating machinery equipment helps to ensure the first-class Bayer quality of the final product,” emphasizes Ethan in unison with Kerry Grossweiler, Bayer SeedGrowth Equipment Manager in the US. The machinery portfolio ranges from large industrial treaters for seed companies like Merschman to the small and flexible On Demand System for agricultural retailers.

On Demand treater brings benefits

One of the On Demand users is Duane Harms, Agronomy Manager at the Farmers Coop Association in Forest City, Iowa. In late 2012, his Bayer rep told him about this modern and user-friendly treater; in February 2013 it was operational. What are the benefits for him? “Oh man! It is a time saver, easy to handle and there is no mess. And the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved it because it does not put out dust that potentially could affect beneficials.”

“The On Demand delivers state-of-the-art performance and is good for our business. In 2014 we hope to treat 12,000 bags.”

Duane Harms, Agronomy Manager, Farmers Coop Association, Iowa

“A Bayer service specialist helped to set it up, programmed the recipes, and trained the operators. Afterwards, the Bayer support team in Iowa was available 24/7 via a hotline all through the treating season. All in all, it turned out to be a good investment decision,” says Duane.
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Tackling future challenges

Looking towards the more distant future, Bayer's product developer Dr. Jennifer Riggs sees a new global dimension in the seed treatment landscape: “In the coming decades this planet has to feed an ever-increasing world population. We will need plants to produce reliable yields even under tough conditions. The seed companies will develop traits for abiotic stresses such as drought tolerance. And we will develop new products to partner with these traits, enhance the plants' stress tolerance, and make sure we make most of the arable land this planet offers.”

On Demand system: No more mixing the slurry!

The On Demand is a fully automated, closed system for downstream seed treatment. The operator uses a touch screen to pick the recipe and input seed size, seeds per pound and the customer name. The On Demand does the rest: no more mixing the slurry. The On Demand will pull out the ingredients from closed drums and apply the mixture consistently and precisely.
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