Often, what we want and what a product is able to provide are different. As a result, the product can sometimes get a bad rap even if it’s undeserving.
In the case of seed treatments, we can sometimes have different expectations of the product in a number of areas. Some of these expectations can lead to unexpected problems. It’s good to be aware of external conditions that can impede a seed treatment’s performance.
- Poor seed treating conditions. This is a big one. If conditions aren’t right, a seed treatment product won’t adhere to the seed correctly. This can be caused by cold seed, dusty seed, and other issues that impact how well the seed treatment sticks to the seed and how well it dries.
- Disease & seed quality. There’s a belief that using a seed treatment is a substitute for getting seed tested or using on top of poor quality seed. Although seed treatments can protect healthy seed from getting diseases at the beginning of the plant’s life, simply coating a diseased seed or a seed that is planted into diseased soil won’t act as a sure-fire insurance policy against disease problems later on.
- Inoculant compatibility. While we aim to design seed treatment to be as flexible as possible in this regard, this can be tricky — especially in pulses. Certain crops require different inoculants, along with different seed treatment products.
We work hard to ensure our seed treatment products are both flexible and reliable. We do a lot of testing for viscosity, coatability, flowability and the like. If one of those boxes doesn’t get checked, so to speak, we go back and reformulate the product or try something else. But sometimes, even the “ready to use” products aren’t always ready to use, as you may need to dilute it further to make it flow better, for example.
In the end it comes down to education. Education leads to better understanding of seed treatments, which results in the product being used more effectively, which leads to a better experience for the user, and saves the product from getting a bad rap.