In my previous column, I wrote about how our expectations of a seed treatment may differ in a number of areas. These expectations can lead to unexpected problems, creating a difficult experience for the seed treatment user.

Seed quality is huge when it comes to ensuring one has a good seed treatment experience. Seed treatments are designed to be easy to use. Users of seed treatments want a product that comes in a jug they can open up and apply to the seed. Fair enough. But a number of factors come into play that can influence the seed treatment’s application. If conditions aren’t right, the product will not adhere to the seed correctly.

  • Cold seed can cause all sorts of issues when a seed treatment is applied to it. When a seed treatment hits the surface of a cold seed, flash freezing of the treatment can occur. This can cause the seed treatment to crack and then flake off.
  • Dusty, improperly cleaned seed can cause similar issues when treated. A seed treatment will adhere to both seed and to dust. When it adheres to dust, it doesn’t dry properly. It plugs up metering rollers and messes up seeding rates.

The solution in both cases is to change the conditions you’re applying the treatment in. Problems associated with cold seed can be prevented by warming up your seed before treating. 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 for a couple days before treating, or even turn the bin over if you don’t have a fan.

As for dusty seed, this is an issue that needs to be addressed with whoever cleans your seed. There are several reasons cleaned seed might be coming to you dusty and figuring out how to fix this problem will mean the seed treatment does what it’s supposed to do.

Much of how we view a product comes from our experience of using that product. When we have a negative experience using a product, regardless of what that product is, we are less likely to want to use it again.

In my next column, I’ll discuss another area where seed treatments are often blamed for the perception of the product “falling short”, and that’s in the area of disease prevention.

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