It’s hard to believe, but spring is officially here and that means seed treating season is upon us. This time of year we inevitably see the same challenges pop up with regard to seed treatment application on the farm, and the following tips and tricks could help you ensure your treating experience goes as smoothly as possible.
- Mind your rate. To treat seed properly you need to calibrate and know your seed flow. You need to know the weight and/or how many bushels you’re treating and how fast it’s moving through — this simple equation will help you figure out the right rate. Whether it’s a STORM treater you’re using or a different pressurized system, how much product you’re getting on the seed is crucial. Too much, and it won’t dry. Too little, and the seed isn’t being adequately protected.
- Mind your fill. In most treating systems, you’re relying on seed-to-seed contact for that extra coverage. Take a few minutes to look at how full you are running your auger/treater. Run it too full and you won’t get good seed-to-seed coverage. Run it too empty and you’ll have the same problem. Between half and two-thirds full is ideal.
- Mind the temperature. Treating cold seed can cause all sorts of issues. When seed treatment hits the surface of a cold seed, it can harden and wouldn’t transfer onto other seeds, preventing secondary mixing. In extreme cases the seed treatment can also flake off. Both these can be prevented by warming up your seed before seed treating, it will make a world of difference in terms of coverage. Just because it might have warmed up outside doesn’t mean your seed is going to be warm as well. Bins act as great insulators, and the seed might still be very cold. Turn an aeration fan on a couple days before treating, or even turn the bin over if you don’t have a fan. This will help warm it up a bit.
Seed treating isn’t an exact science. Everyone’s setup is a little different, so it may take some experimenting to find out what works best. Once you do, you’ll be in a position to advise others and ensure you’re getting the most from your seed treatment. A little knowledge goes a long way.