Precision seeders and automated transplanters are the industry buzz words these days as growers face the challenge of improving efficiency and productivity in their operations. Whether you are considering using mechanical transplanter methods such a Plant Tape or direct sowing with a precision seeder such as an air planter, selecting the right seed treatment will increase your odds of success.
The benefits of Precision Seeders and Automated Planters Include:
- Less seed per acre = reduced seed costs
- Equally spaced plants = greater crop uniformity
- Improved yield because each plant is optimally spaced
- Reduction in thinning = labor cost savings
Seed Pellets for Precisions Seeders and Automated Transplanters
- Belt Type commonly referred to as a Stan-Hay seeder performs best with a smooth round pellet for singulation. Germains ProPellet® melting pellet and or OxyKote®split pellet are both compatible with the belt planters with sizes ranging from 11.5 to 13.5 depending on the species.
- Plate Type represented by the John Deere 33 drops seeds into a small notch on the plate then release at the drop point. The plate types are based on seed size therefore uniform seed size is a must to achieve singulation. Depending on your environmental conditions, irrigation practices, and the species you may opt to use either the ProPellet® or OxyKote® pellet to maximize planter efficiency.
- Vacuum Planters are available under a number of brand names. Besides spacing accuracy, another benefit is that they work optimally with encrustment seed coatings. Some manufacturers say that coated seed should not be used with these planters, but many growers are opting to encrust seeds, to achieve an average number of seed per lb for planter optimization. Also, the Proflo® encrustments make handling a lot easier along with reducing the number of boxes for storage because the seed is not as bulky as pelleted seed. Proflo® Precise is an excellent option for baby leaf production. Proflo® precise is a heavy, precision encrustment, designed to improve singulation and flow when used with a vacuum seeder. Proflo precise reduces the wear on the planter’s sponges. When using a precision planter, Proflo® precise allows a grower to plant 2.5 M per acre vs. 4M raw seeds per acre.
- Automated Transplanters such as Plant Tape are more efficient than traditional transplanting methods that use plugs and soil blocks that are then manually transplanted in the field. The automated system reduces labor, faster rate of planting, uses less peat, requires less seed per acre, and improves water conservation. Trials conducted with automate transplant systems conclude that Germains OxyKote® pellet is highly compatible with this new technology.
Customize Your Seed Pellet with Other Seed Treatments
In addition to pelleting, other seed technologies can be stacked with the pellet of your choice to improve crop performance. Adding seed priming along with crop protection treatments such as Syngenta’s FarMore or seed enhancers like Germain’s Filmcoat elite can improve the odds of your crops success as soon as the seedlings emerge. Seed treatments are an affordable input that can have a tremendous impact on your crops speed of emergence, resistance to soil-borne pathogens, and overall vigor. Don’t forget that we offer both Conventional and Organic options for pellets. For more information or assistance with selecting the right treatment for you, please contact us today!