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

2 comments 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

Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App
EquipmentNew Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App Alleviates Spraying Concerns
March 10, 2017
There’s a new app to help farmers decide when to spray their fields. Pocket Spray Smart is a free iOS Read More
BBI MagnaSpread Salford BBI
Equipment14 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2017
March 9, 2017
Application equipment manufacturers stressed flexibility and accuracy with this year’s crop of fertilizer spreaders. From AGCO’s TerraGator TG9300B and Case IH’s 810 Read More
Forbes Mixing Bowl NYC
Precision AgGrowing Demand For High Tech Agriculture Sparking Discussion
March 3, 2017
How can information technology be best harnessed to solve challenges in food and agriculture? That’s a question being asked more Read More
Junge Innovation Center
EquipmentAg Retail Plants Adapt Designs, Software
March 2, 2017
A host of factors could be cited for “the rise of the machines” in ag retail plants — and the Read More
Trending Articles
AdjuvantsA New Weed-Control Era Begins: But First, One Last Obstacle
March 4, 2017
There is trepidation, there is reluctance, and there is excitement. Ag retailers feel it all about the new dicamba and Read More
LIFT Academy video screenshot
Crop InputsLIFT Agriculture Academy: A Q&A With West Central Distribution’s Dean Hendrickson
March 1, 2017
West Central Distribution recently launched its LIFT Agriculture Academy, a new, premiere training and professional development resource for West Central’s ag Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Latest News
ManagementThink You Know Water? Take WinField United’s R…
March 22, 2017
Water is among our most precious resources, and arguably the hardest working, with just one percent available for human use, Read More
Corn Field
LegislationTFI Hopes Court Dismissal Is ‘Final Chapter’…
March 20, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) released the following statement from President, Chris Jahn on the March 17, 2017, federal court dismissal Read More
Wheat Growers
Industry NewsWheat Growers CEO Dale Locken To Retire
March 20, 2017
CEO Dale Locken has announced that he plans to retire from Wheat Growers. Locken has served almost 15 years as Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Eric SfiligojBayer-Monsanto: Life, LibertyLink, And The Pursuit Of R…
March 20, 2017
As the calendar officially turns to spring, life is in full renewal mode. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and Read More
Corn Field
Crop InputsUltra Yield Micronutrients Acquires Kronos Micronutrien…
March 16, 2017
Ultra Yield Micronutrients, Inc. ”Ultra”, an affiliate of Cameron Chemicals, Inc., is pleased to announce that it has acquired the Read More
ManagementSnowstorms, Asset Sales, and Soybeans Prices
March 16, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the weather, precision ag, crop protection company mergers, and commodity prices in this Read More
Soybean Field
Seed/BiotechBayer Invests $8.1 million In Soybean Advancement In Th…
March 16, 2017
Growers in Illinois and across the Midwest now have the added benefit of a state-of-the-art soybean research facility, increasing accessibility Read More
CHS
CropLife 100CHS Acquires Western Co-op Transport Association
March 16, 2017
CHS Inc., North America’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has purchased Western Co-op Transport Read More
Young corn plants in soil
HerbicidesBest Management Practices To Control PPO-Resistant Weed…
March 14, 2017
Weeds resistant to the class of herbicides called protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitors are spreading at a faster rate than weed Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Eric SfiligojFungicide Resistance On The Horizon
March 13, 2017
For many years now, the agricultural market has struggled to keep ahead of an ever-growing number of herbicide-resistant weeds. According Read More
Management2017 Commodity Classic Review
March 10, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss what happened at the recent Commodity Classic in San Antonio. Read More
Farmer using AgriSync
ManagementMajor AgriSync Update Aims To Extend Ag Experts’ Power …
March 10, 2017
AgriSync announced a major update to its leading collaboration and service management tool for professional ag advisors and their farmer Read More
Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App
EquipmentNew Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App Alleviates Spraying …
March 10, 2017
There’s a new app to help farmers decide when to spray their fields. Pocket Spray Smart is a free iOS Read More
BPIA logo
Crop InputsBiological Products Trade Association Changes Name, Exp…
March 9, 2017
The Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA), formerly the BioPesticide Industry Alliance, is the new name of the rapidly growing U.S.-based Read More
BBI MagnaSpread Salford BBI
Equipment14 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2017
March 9, 2017
Application equipment manufacturers stressed flexibility and accuracy with this year’s crop of fertilizer spreaders. From AGCO’s TerraGator TG9300B and Case IH’s 810 Read More
Sonny Perdue
LegislationARA: Sonny Perdue Confirmation Delay Simply A Paperwork…
March 9, 2017
It’s been seven weeks since the White House named former Gov. Sonny Perdue (R-Ga.) as the nominee for the next Read More
Storage Tank The Andersons
CropLife 100The Andersons To Sell Farm Center Locations In Florida
March 8, 2017
The Andersons, Inc. has signed an agreement to sell its farm center locations in Florida to Wedgworth’s Inc., of Belle Read More
Nebraska landscape Photo courtesy of Richard Hurd
ManagementNebraska Water: Another Opportunity To Sell Value
March 8, 2017
Keith Byerly has been an Advanced Cropping Systems (ACS) Manager with York, NE-headquartered, No. 13-ranked CropLife 100 retailer Central Valley Read More