Seed Treatment Systems: Simply Breathtaking

In the wild and wacky world of downstream seed treating equipment it is the various seed treatment products — actives, coatings and inoculants — rather than the capabilities or limitations of the actual equipment itself, driving the adoption of automated bulk systems at the retail level.

“Back when I started in seed treatment about 10 years ago, really the only products that were being consistently put on seed were basic fungicides and a low percentage of insecticides,” says Jaco Van Der Westhuizen, seed treatment manager, Crop Production Services (CPS). “Today, there is no ‘Messiah’ seed treatment, it’s more about combining multiple products. When you’ve got four, sometimes five different products going on, you’re going to want to be as accurate as possible.”

Options Evolving

An ag retailer looking to delve into some new bulk seed treating equipment is arguably in the cat-bird seat, as there are several intriguing options out there for the interested buyer.

Bayer CropScience’s On Demand system is one of the more well-known products in downstream treating, according to Kerry Grossweiler, SeedGrowth equipment & coatings manager.

“On Demand is a fully automated, closed system that ensures seed treatments are applied correctly and consistently, resulting in healthier plant establishment,” says Grossweiler. “Right now, our sales people are really focusing on promoting and placing On Demand systems in retail operations for the 2014 growing season.”

The reasons that retailers are excited to implement On Demand are three-fold, according to Grossweiler. “Number one, On Demand is a closed system, which is an important safety feature not only for their people but also for the environment,” he says. “Secondly, it’s the recipes that On Demand can produce. The ability to select pre-loaded recipes with the On Demand system is a tremendous tool that can save an operator measuring and mixing time. And number three is the ability to capture data with the system. Just the simplicity of being able to print out a detailed record of what products went on the seed, how many milligrams of active ingredient were applied to each seed, that’s something growers are looking for.”

Additionally, there are a couple new developments with On Demand for 2014.

“One of the new things we’ve added is the ability to print barcodes, because the system is driven by barcodes that are scanned in for each product that is being applied,” says Grossweiler. “For 2014 we’ve expanded this beyond Bayer products and technologies to other products that are out there in the marketplace. So maybe you are treating with a closed 15 gallon drum system and the product you are using doesn’t already have a barcode. On Demand can create a unique barcode for that product, you scan it in  and along with a recipe, you’re ready to go and are treating bulk seed in just a few minutes.”

A new service initiative from Bayer is also reportedly in the works, according to Grossweiler. “As we’ve learned from 2013 after listening to On Demand users, these retailers want the same level of service from us that they are providing to their grower-customers,” he says. “It’s all about service and On Demand’s wireless reporting and cloud capabilities are really unique in that regard.

“Say there is an issue with the system, all you have to do is go to the touchscreen display and send in a ticket and we’ve got several people ready to respond from the service side,” he continues. “We’ve also placed service reps out in the field that are specific for On Demand, so we’re really excited about enhancing our service capabilities, being able to offer 24/7 service during the treating season, because guys are treating at all hours, including the weekend.”

Grossweiler also anticipates an updated operating system for On Demand over the next couple of years.

Entering The Field

Meanwhile, KSi Conveyors — with roots in seed handling equipment and a reputation as a leader in seed treatment site design and automation — is a relatively new player in the market. The Sabetha, KS-based company’s 4808NGA Seed Applicator system, due for limited launch in 2014 and full launch for 2015, debuted at The Farm Progress Show this past August.

According to Rick Smith, director of marketing, the company decided to jump into the seed treatment equipment market after evaluating the challenges faced in today’s seed market and realizing that KSi could provide a unique solution.

SetupSeveral features make KSi’s solution unlike others in the market, starting with the KSi VariRate and Loss-In-Weight technologies that replace the traditional seed wheel. According to KSi, the technology removes the need to calibrate the equipment for different varieties and seed sizes, saving time. “This is a very proven, sophisticated technology that is currently in use in other major industries but nobody had been doing it in the downstream seed market before us,” says Smith. “As retailers strive to meet increased accuracy requirements of active ingredients per seed, this technology is going to be much needed.”

KSi AutoTreat, the system’s automation software, is also notable for its ease-of-use. “The level of automation that you get, just being able to control the entire process, is one of the keys with this system,” says Smith. “With data becoming more and more important, especially on the stewardship level — being able to prove that you only use so much of a seed treatment — is so important to these retailers.”

AutoTreat also has the ability to be paired with other popular treaters already on the market, according to Smith. “At KSi we like to look at everything holistically. If a customer already has a piece of equipment and they don’t want to replace it, we can usually use it in upgrading the system.”

After field testing the equipment at select retailers this past spring, KSi received some pretty encouraging results. According to Smith, the company found that the system has a treating capacity that ranges from 700 pounds per minute up to 2,500 pounds per minute. Average drum clean out time also was reduced under the KSi system, with other systems averaging two to three minutes to clean out the drum while KSi claims a 30 to 60 second drum clean out window.

“We’re really pleased with our lab results and now we are excited to really prove our system’s worth this spring in real world situations,” says Smith.

Van Der Westhuizen for one is pumped to get his hands on some KSi systems for CPS. “When we evaluate new seed treating equipment for our operation, there are three Ps that we are looking for: Performance, profitability and partnership (with the supplier). KSi hits on all three of those aspects. It’s just a great company to work with.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Seed Treatment Systems: Simply Breathtaking

  1. BCC Research publishes a report on Seed Treatment: Technologies and Global Markets
    This market is expected to grow to $3.2 billion in 2013 and nearly $4.8 billion in 2018, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3% for the period of 2013 to 2018.

Equipment Stories

EquipmentMeeting Changing Liquid Storage Needs
October 10, 2014
Tank and containment choices are expanding with shifts in farming practices and the economy. Read More
Precision AgGoogle Glass: New Tool For Ag
October 8, 2014
New wearable smart technologies such as Google Glass show potential to greatly impact how we accomplish the business of feeding the world. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
The deadline to vote for the 2014 CropLife IRON Product of the Year is October 31. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
Precision AgPrecision Agriculture: Finding The Payback
September 6, 2014
Profitability in precision ag is not about any one technology, but the result of employing technology in a total system approach that is agronomically sound. Read More

Trending Articles

Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Offers New Support For Ferguson, Area Communities
October 8, 2014
Monsanto Co. has committed $1 million in new support for several collaborative efforts in Ferguson, MO, and surrounding communities in North St. Louis County. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnapproved Genetically Modified Wheat Found In Montana
October 3, 2014
USDA reports that one year after discovery of Monsanto's unapproved wheat in a single Oregon field disrupted U.S. wheat export sales, the GMO wheat has again been found in Montana. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
The deadline to vote for the 2014 CropLife IRON Product of the Year is October 31. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More

Latest News

InsecticidesValent U.S.A., MGK Form Marketing Agreement
October 24, 2014
Valent has formed an agreement with Minneapolis-based MGK to manage the marketing and sales of MGK’s crop protection line of insect control products within the U.S. beginning April 1, 2015. Read More
StewardshipFlorida’s 4R Advocate Keeps Improving
October 24, 2014
Florida farmer Alan Jones uses the 4R principles of nutrient stewardship as the core of his fertility program, which allows him to maximize production and keep costs in check. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Named One Of The World’s Best Multinational …
October 23, 2014
Monsanto ranked No. 8 in the world’s largest annual study of workplace excellence that identifies the top 25 best multinational companies in terms of workplace culture. Read More
Crop InputsArysta Hires Former Agri-Chem, CPS Employee For Delta S…
October 23, 2014
New Territory Sales Manager Mark Peel’s primary role will focus on working with growers regarding fungicides in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Announces Appointments In Plant Food Division
October 22, 2014
GROWMARK, Inc. has announced the three key staff changes in its Plant Food Division. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Appoints New VP Of Finance And Risk Management
October 22, 2014
Wade Mittelstadt has been named GROWMARK Vice President, Financial and Risk Mangement, effective December 1, 2014. Read More
FungicidesEPA Approves BASF In-Furrow Corn Fungicide
October 22, 2014
Field trials show Xanthion In-furrow fungicide provides more rapid emergence, extended residual control and improved seedling health than untreated crops. Read More
EquipmentAgraScout App Available At No Cost To Universities
October 21, 2014
AgraScout, a fast and easy to use mobile crop scouting app, is now available at no cost to University students, Read More
LegislationNew Farm Bill Program To Provide Relief To Farmers Affe…
October 21, 2014
The USDA has implemented a new Farm Bill initiative that will provide relief to farmers affected by severe weather, including drought. Read More
ManagementGreenfield Scholars Program Aims To Sustain Agronomy Wo…
October 21, 2014
The program encourages talented students to study agronomy, crop and soil sciences while cultivating networks to develop the necessary workforce to sustain the profession. Read More
Paul SchrimpfPrecision Ag: Taking It To The Hill
October 21, 2014
A new coalition took the good news message of precision agriculture to Washington, DC, last month. Read More
ManagementUSDA Awards $18 Million In Small Business Research Gran…
October 21, 2014
The grants will provide high quality, advanced research and development that will lead to technological innovations and solutions for American agriculture. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Terminates Merger Discussions With Yara I…
October 21, 2014
CF Industries Holdings and Yara International have terminated their discussions regarding a potential merger of equals transaction. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Ranked A Top 10 Biotech Employer For Third tim…
October 20, 2014
Syngenta ranked in the top 10 among the world’s top biotech employers, according to an annual survey conducted by Science magazine. Read More
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Break Ground For New Facility At Kennebec
October 20, 2014
Wheat Growers has broke ground for a state-of-the-art shuttle loader grain handling, fertilizer and agronomy facility in Kennebec, SD. Read More
FertilizerVerdesian Life Sciences Signs Agreement With Los Alamos…
October 20, 2014
Verdesian Life Sciences has signed a licensing agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory to develop and market LANL’s latest nitrogen enhancement technology for plants. Read More
MicronutrientsStoller Group Announces Groundbreaking At New Office Bu…
October 20, 2014
Jerry Stoller, founder and president of Stoller Group, announced the groundbreaking at the site of the company’s future headquarters in Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Opens New Production Facility In Nevada
October 20, 2014
BioSafe Systems has completed construction of a state-of-art production facility in Sparks, NV, for its line of activated peroxygen products. Read More