The following information is a Web Extra to the story "Shelter for Seed" by Rhonda Brooks. You can find the article in Farm Journal's 2010 Seed Guide.
Along with new products, corn and soybean growers can anticipate having access next year to revamped seed treatments that are packed with new benefits.
Syngenta is close to launching Avicta Complete Corn with a four-way fungicide, says Cliff Watrin, Technical Manager for Syngenta Seed Care.
Research into non-traditional seed treatments also is advancing, he notes.
"We’ll add more materials to the seed in the future," Watrin says. He anticipates that such materials will enhance plant growth or stimulate nationally occurring plant defense mechanisms to ward off disease or insects.
Part of the success of these new elements will depend upon the sophistication of polymers, which hold the active ingredients on the seed, says Stephanie Zumbach, product manager for seed enhancements at Becker Underwood.
"There’s only a certain amount of slurry you can put on a seed, so we constantly are trying to make our products as concentrated as possible," she says.
For example, she says the first Becker Underwood soybean planability polymer, Flo Rite 1127 Concentrate, originally used at 2 fl. Ox. Per hundredweight, was reformulated and concentrated and is now used at 1.5 fl. Oz. per hundredweight.
In addition, customer perceptions of products are increasingly important as price tags increase, Zumbach notes. "As seed prices have increased, the appearance of the seed has become much more important."
Munkvold says the marketplace can anticipate the industry will continue to focus on such benefits, what he calls seed enhancements, a broad category for anything that promotes plant growth and productivity without being a pesticide.
"It’s the direction for the future," he says.