Coatings boost the quality of treated seed

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Products, Coatings, Services






April 2013

Stewardship in seeds


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Proper stewardship practices at and after seed treatment application are critical to boosting crop potential. Bayer’s clear commitment to limiting dust-off of treated seeds – through improved product stickability, dust control at planting, reduced dust-off, and training for stakeholders – ensures farmers get the best bang for their buck.
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Assessing cotton in the field

Going the extra mile

“We’re going the extra mile to make sure Bayer SeedGrowth™ products stay where they should be – in the field launching seed’s performance,” says Marc Andrieux, Head of SeedGrowth Technology and Services and SeedGrowth Coatings at Bayer SeedGrowth. His job involves anything from seed drilling equipment modifications to new seed coating technology – all in the name of limiting dust-off. “If you aren’t in control of a number of different factors from on-seed application to planting, it could lead to dust-off. Limiting dust-off is an integrated solution at and after on-seed application,” he explains. And minimizing dust-off is nothing new for Bayer. Work on improving dust control – everything from improving product formulations to modifying seed drillers in the field – began several years ago in Europe and has since gone global.

Making the seed treatment stick

Bayer SeedGrowth has been testing and developing various new product formulations to improve stickability. To make sure a seed treatment product sticks to the seed, Bayer’s specialists enhance a film coating with specific properties to reinforce what is already within the formulation. The results confirm the company’s reputation as an industry leader in improving product formulations.

“We are really pushing the entire industry to look closer at how different formulations can improve dust control.”

Marc Andrieux

Application of the product is also critical to limiting dust-off. At Bayer’s advanced equipment department in Minneapolis, USA, application techniques are tested to find the best practices for limiting dust-off. “We make sure on-seed application operators have a good machine, but also train operators in these best practices,” Marc Andrieux adds.

Planter with dust control system

Controlling dust at planting

Bayer also promotes solutions for controlling dust at planting. One such solution is a new air-cleaning technology for drillers known as SweepAir™. Marc Andrieux says SweepAir is significantly improving dust control at planting in comparison to standard technology. “This advanced system separates dust from the air, with any captured dust being diverted into the ground along with any active ingredient that might be in the dust,” he says. First field tests with the prototype in Europe indicate dust reduction levels of well above 95 per cent. “The estimated overall cost will be affordable, and existing machinery can be retrofitted,” Marc Andrieux points out. The technology might well be available in Europe for the next planting season if regulatory requirements are met. In the United States, where planters are very large and lubricants are needed to help treated seed flow, Bayer is looking at a new type of plant lubricant to help seed flow and reduce dust for the North American market.

Improved coatings control dust-off

Bayer is developing a new generation of film coatings and an adapted seed treatment process to help control dust-off at planting. Instead of applying one layer of seed coating, Bayer is testing a multilayer approach to minimize seed coat abrasion. The first layer containing the active ingredient is applied close to the seed and a second layer is applied on top to protect the active ingredient. By increasing the amount of film coating and adding a second layer for protection purposes, dust levels can be reduced by 50 per cent and active ingredient levels in the dust by more than 70 per cent. It is also a low-cost solution.

“This technology can be implemented at short notice – no significant costs are involved and only training is necessary.”

Marc Andrieux

Education in dust control

Education is a key factor in ensuring effective dust control. “We train operators, customers, seed companies and seed plants to communicate these methods to control dust-off,” Marc Andrieux says. The training sessions Bayer holds are generally well attended and received – a clear sign that the industry is interested in finding solutions for dust control. And it’s an on-going story. Bayer is firmly committed to continuing its efforts to revolutionize dust control methods. “We keep looking at new solutions, and come out with a new and improved product for dust control every year,” Marc Andrieux points out.
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