Feature How Seed Treatments Continue to Evolve

How Seed Treatments Continue to Evolve


Remember those old science fiction movies from when you were a kid? The ones with flying cars and the like?

We might not have flying cars yet, but a surprising amount of predictions from those old films have come true. Smartphones. Self-driving vehicles. Sometimes I marvel at how the modern day looks so much like those old visions of “the future” that our lives have actually become.

Working with seed treatments for a living, I get to learn a lot about how these technologies are evolving. These products will come in handy a lot in 2018 as we face cool, wet soil conditions that are prime breeding ground for root rot of all kinds.

Seed treatments do a great job today of protecting seed, but will do an even better job in the future as they evolve in a number of ways.

I’m confident we’ll see more products with insecticide incorporated into them to help tackle a number of different pathogens in different areas. Saskatchewan and Alberta have very different concerns when it comes to pathogens and pests that seed treatments can help guard against (wireworms and pea leaf weevil are a great example).

Further into the future, I think we’ll see better application equipment. As seed treatments evolve, so does the equipment used to apply them. Not only will newer seed treatments require better equipment that’s able to apply them effectively, the products themselves will evolve as the equipment does. You can’t do a good job of maximizing your seed treatment investment without the proper equipment to apply them.

You’ll see some new polymers developed, which will allow the seed to be treated straight off the combine in the early fall and allow the treatment to stay on the seed longer. Micronutrients will be added for extra vigour and growth.

The seed treatments we have now are products of evolution. Seed treatments continue to evolve to meet the every changing disease and insect pressures that farmers face in their soils.

Seed treatments are a good investment to protect your seed, and they’ll only become more important in the future. Like what happens when you watch those old science fiction movies from years ago, it will be fascinating to see which visions of the future come to pass and become reality.