Help for Pollinators

January 3, 2014 06:27 PM

Research trial results show that a new Bayer CropScience fluency agent helps reduce dust during the planting of treated seed and, in the process, reduces the potential of negative exposure for honeybees and other pollinators, according to company officials.

The use of lubricants, such as talc or graphite, is a standard recommendation by planter equipment manufacturers to help reduce friction and improve planting uniformity. However, dust emissions from planting treated seed with vacuum planters could have negative effects on honeybees. 

As an alternative to standard talc and graphite lubricants, the new Bayer fluency agent, which is made of a polyethylene wax substrate, significantly decreased dust and emissions during laboratory testing. Here are the findings:

  • 90% reduction in total dust versus talc;
  • 60% reduction in total dust versus graphite;
  • Performed equal to or better than comparable talc or graphite lubricants on the market;
  • Decreased level of dust during application and easier to avoid dust when checking boxes; and
  • Showed equivalent results at lower use rates than talc when comparing planting uniformity.

The company is currently evaluating when the new fluency agent can be made available for farmers to use. More information is available at

dust per seed chart
insecticide chart


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