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

Top 100 Articles

CropLife 100CHS: Driving Momentum To Help Farmer-Owners Grow
December 11, 2014
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, must capture new opportunities to Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT, Verdesian Ink Distribution Agreement
December 9, 2014
The agreement grants BRANDT the exclusive right to sell and market Verdesian’s patented Steric chemistry in the Turf and Ornamental and eastern U.S. ag markets under the BRANDT Reaction product line name. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: The Colors Of Custom Application
December 5, 2014
Although many color spray rigs are in the yards of the nation’s top ag retailers, the majority of them still come in only a few shades. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Invests In Meridian Agriculture Distribution
December 4, 2014
Meridian will provide retailers with supplier-branded products and numerous opportunities to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: Entering A New Seed Era
December 4, 2014
The seed category has been re-vitalized during the past few years, and more good news (and varieties) are headed the industry’s way in 2015. Read More
CropLife 100CropLife 100: The Depressed State Of Fertilizer
December 3, 2014
Following downright giddy growth earlier this decade, fertilizer sales have fallen back down to earth the past two years. Read More

Latest News

Seed/BiotechKaren Arthur Joins AgriThority As Seed Treatment Produc…
December 19, 2014
Prior to joining AgriThority, Arthur directed research and development programs, overseeing laboratory and field research, to build the Valent U.S.A. seed treatment portfolio. Read More
EquipmentJohn Deere To Sell Crop Insurance Business
December 19, 2014
Deere & Co. has reached a definitive agreement to sell its crop insurance business, subject to regulatory approval, to Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. of Iowa. Read More
Crop InputsNufarm Fills Regulatory VP Position
December 18, 2014
Nufarm announced today that Rob Schwehr has been promoted to the position of Vice President of Innovation & Regulatory Affairs for Nufarm Americas. Read More
Seed/BiotechReport: China Approves Viptera Corn, U.S. Officials Awa…
December 17, 2014
Chinese authorities have informed some agriculture industry officials the government has approved U.S. imports of a type of genetically modified corn developed by Syngenta. Read More
FertilizerMonty’s Plant Food Brings In New Sales Rep
December 16, 2014
Monty's Plant Food Company has hired Warren Kearns as its newest Sales Representative for the South Carolina area. Read More
EquipmentHagie Wins 2014 CropLife IRON Product Of The Year Award
December 15, 2014
The self-propelled sprayer maker has a hit on its hands with the new STS Series model. Read More
Syngenta
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Sees China Approving Contentious GMO Corn Soon
December 15, 2014
Syngenta will make an announcement when it receives official documentation from China that Agrisure Viptera corn, known as MIR 162, has been cleared for import. Read More
Crop InputsVerdesian Life Sciences Names Vice President Of Communi…
December 15, 2014
Amy Bugg will oversee the execution of all promotional strategies for the corporate brand and the complete product portfolio. Read More
StewardshipFarmers, Retailers Attend 4R Certification 4U Workshop
December 15, 2014
More than 160 farmers and ag retailer attended the “4R Certification 4U” workshop December 12 to learn more about the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship, water quality research in the area and cost-sharing opportunities. Read More
Matt Hopkins10 Best New Agriculture Apps For 2015
December 15, 2014
These new agriculture apps are certain to help ag professionals do their jobs more efficiently in 2015 and beyond. Read More
ManagementARA Learnings, Retail Buying Intentions: Welcome To Cro…
December 12, 2014
This informal video program puts news and events effecting retailers into context, and features Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Herbicide-Tolerant Technology Closer To Commer…
December 12, 2014
The final EIS moves Monsanto one step closer to the introduction of Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, paving the way to provide access to dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. Read More
Seed/BiotechUSDA Issues Final Environmental Impact Statement On Her…
December 12, 2014
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is issuing a final environmental impact statement on varieties of cotton and soybeans that have been genetically engineered for resistance to several herbicides, including the one known as dicamba. Read More
CropLife 100CHS: Driving Momentum To Help Farmer-Owners Grow
December 11, 2014
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, must capture new opportunities to Read More
LegislationARA Applauds CFATS Passage Prior To Holiday Adjournment
December 11, 2014
The streamlined bill provides a four-year authorization of the CFATS program and guidance to DHS on key issues of chemical facility security Read More
Seed/BiotechBayer CropScience’s ILeVO Approved By EPA
December 11, 2014
EPA has approved ILeVO, the only seed treatment that protects the root system against infections caused by the Sudden Death Syndrome fungus and has activity against dangerous nematodes. Read More
Biologicals in Emerging Markets Map.
Crop InputsBiocontrols Could Quadruple By 2025; Will Regulators Pl…
December 11, 2014
The European experience with GMOs offers caution — and a promise — for biologicals. Read More
Crop InputsBASF Donates $75,000 To Feeding America
December 10, 2014
The donation will support Feeding America’s National Produce Program, an initiative that helps with planning, transportation and logistics to ensure fresh produce deliveries to the 200 member food banks around the country. Read More