Ag Growth, Bayer launch new farm-level seed treater

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The Canadian arm of ag chem firm Bayer CropScience has hooked up with Winnipeg grain handling equipment maker Ag Growth (AGI) to roll out a “first of its kind” cereal and pulse seed treatment applicator for on-farm use.

The two companies, which late last year announced plans to work together on such a system, have now launched their product, dubbed the Storm (Seed Treatment Optimized Rate Metering), and have a “limited supply” now available through AGI dealers across the country.

The Storm, they said, is meant to be “easier and more convenient to use than any applicator currently on the market.” The unit can be connected directly to a seed bin, at which seed can be treated during the transfer process to another truck or bin.

The Storm, produced by AGI subsidiary Westfield Industries at Rosenort, Man., places a seed treater in-line with a “specifically designed” Westfield TFX2 100-41 auger, which the company said “allows you to finally treat your seed with absolute accuracy.”

Westfield, on its website, says the Storm’s metering conveyor measures seed rate to a margin of error of plus or minus two per cent, and the programming automatically adjusts the unit’s peristaltic pumps to match treatment flow for “optimal” coverage.

Westfield also describes the unit as suitable for a “wide variety” of seed types including wheat, barley, oats, peas and lentils, adding that it “automatically compensates” for differences in seed density and seed type.

“By inputting the density of the seed being treated, the system calculates the mass flow rate of grain and automatically applies the correct amount of treatment, removing the uncertainty and waste associated with most applicators,” the companies said.

The Storm, which runs off a 32.5-hp Kohler motor, is listed with a handling capacity of up to 30 bushels per minute, with application capacity of up to 600 ml per 100 kg for its current tip configuration.

The unit also comes pre-programmed to handle Bayer CropScience seed treatment products but can store “additional custom recipes.”

“Frustrations and uncertainty”

Development of the Storm followed meetings between Calgary-based Bayer and growers and retailers at seed treatment application seminars in 2011, from which the company reported hearing “overwhelming concern” from growers about “their ability to effectively treat seed.”

Bayer, in its release, credited one of its Saskatoon-based staff, Danick Bardi, with “developing the framework for a tool that would deliver precision seed treatment application in a convenient, efficient and integrated system.”

“The unique closed system of the Storm integrates the treating process into the current seeding operation and makes treating seeds a lot easier” on growers, he said in the release.

Bardi is no stranger to treatment technology; in 2000 he was one in a group of inventors granted a U.S. patent — now assigned to CNH’s Saskatoon seeding and tillage equipment arm, Flexi-Coil — for an in-line seed treating unit for air seeders.

“We are confident that the safety of the closed treater, the metering and accuracy of application will remove growers’ frustrations and uncertainty when treating seeds and will result in a significantly positive impact on their crops,” Paul Brisebois, vice-president of marketing at Winnipeg-based AGI, said in the same release.

Coming out of product demos across the West during the spring, Bayer and AGI reported many growers saying the system “would encourage them to treat their seeds.” — AGCanada.com Network

Related story:
Ag Growth, Bayer collaborate on seed treaters, Dec. 20, 2012