I’ve found that a lot of growers don’t want to treat seed on-farm because there’s still this perception that it’s a messy, time-consuming process.
In reality, seed treating equipment has become far more sophisticated and automated, while the seed treatments themselves often feature all-in-one pre-mix formulations that are far more convenient to use.
Equipment aside, it’s all about attention to the finer details that will give you good results when treating on farm.
If you’re going to be treating throughout the day, make sure you’re checking the flowability of that seed treatment form morning to afternoon. During the early spring, you’ll typically have cooler mornings where the seed treatment flow rate is slower and needs more pressure to push through the applicator.
Once temperatures warm up in the afternoon and the viscosity of your product thins out, you’ll need to make sure that you’re not over-applying. Generally, if you can see uniform coverage of that treatment on the seed, you’re on the right track.
Treating on farm also gives you the flexibility to adapt and change crops if you get poor weather or there’s a shift in markets. Having your seed treated commercially can be quick and convenient, but it commits you to a crop for the season.
Shad Milligan is a seedcare specialist with Syngenta Canada.