If you are planning to seed forages this spring, the long-established Canadian company Pickseed has teamed up with a Manitoba-based seed nutrition company to supply producers with legume and grass seed genetics that emerge faster with improved vigour.
All seeds marketed by Pickseed in 2013 will be treated with a micronutrient product known as Protinus, which was developed by Wolf Trax of Winnipeg (www.wolftrax.com ).
Protinus is a clean, safe, dust-free, dry-to-the-touch treatment that attaches micronutrients, including zinc and manganese, directly to the seed.
“We’ve been testing different products for a couple of years, and have been most impressed with Protinus,” says Terry Scott, western sales director for Pickseed. “Wolf Trax research and our own field trials show the treatment makes a significant difference in faster germination and improved root development of seedling. It doesn’t matter what the crop, it is important to get it off to a fast, strong start.”
While Protinus is designed as a micronutrient seed treatment for all field crops, Brenda Dubeck, manager of seed products at Wolf Trax, says it has a particularly good fit with forage seeds.
As Scott points out, “forage seeds don’t always get the attention they deserve when it comes to seeding,” Often they are broadcast applied, often under cold, even frozen conditions in the fall, or applied to cool, wet soils in the spring.
“They are ususally broadcast applied, or shallow seeded under adverse conditions, so those little seeds need all the help they can get,” says Scott. And they are small seeds. There are about one million seeds in a pound of timothy grass seed, and 80,000 to 85,000 seeds in pound of meadow brome.
Protinus is usually a custom-applied product. In this case Pickseed will be treating all grass, legume and turfgrass seeds with the product for its customers.
“It is a patented technology, that provides a nice, clean, and even treatment to every seed,” says Dubeck. “There is no dust and nothing comes off on your hands, so when you buy seed treated with Protinus it is nice to work with.”
Wolf Trax research shows the benefits of having key micronutrients attached to the seed include earlier, more even emergence, larger seedlings, longer, more developed root systems, and better ability of seedlings to withstand early-season stress, says Dubeck.
Wolf Trax, which also makes DDP Micronutrients, which can be applied as either a dry coating, foliar, or liquid fertilizer product to a wide range of field crops — also was named a recipient of the Manning Innovations Award in 2012. Named in honor of former Alberta premier Ernest Manning, the award recognizes Canadians who have demonstrated innovative talent in developing and successfully marketing a new concept, process or procedure.
“Along with supplying good products and technology that benefit producers, the other nice feature is that both Wolf Trax and Pickseed are Canadian companies,” says Dubeck. †