INSIDERS    |   Seed Treatment & Stewardship   

There is perhaps no seed-related product more important today than seed treatment. These seed treatments can protect crops from pests and diseases to enhance early development, and they have come a long way since their early days in terms of both effectiveness and environmental friendliness.

Seed treatment protects the investment of a farmer from the day of planting. In addition, it is the most convenient way of protecting the crop in the early days, and beyond that allows the most targeted use of active ingredients directly on the seed. Often I am asked what seed treatment is all about in the first place.

Hence, it is important to create an understanding first on how the technology can help to be efficient in active ingredient use as well as in targeting specific pests and diseases. It is perhaps more important than ever for industry stakeholders to be able to effectively communicate the value of seed treatment.

Seed treatment is becoming increasingly important as part of the offer for farmers to achieve best results with their crops. At the same time there is a lot of public debate around seed treatment solutions — hence it is vital to share facts and to inform the wider public in order to dispel the fiction that is sometimes promoted by groups that are opposed to this technology.

In an environment where the seed’s value is getting increasingly higher, it is key for growers to have seed treatment as an insurance mechanism to protect their investments and to give them peace of mind in the early days of plant establishment. In their early days, plants are very vulnerable — and seed treatment protects them against pests and diseases where no foliar application can yet be applied.

I have seen fields that have not been treated that have literally been “wiped out” by a pest or a disease, while the field next door that has been treated had a solid stand and looked healthy. Seed treatment plays an important role for the seed industry as it represents billions in annual turnover, but more importantly is at the heart of business strategies aiming to intelligently combine seeds and crop protection offers for customers.

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