Frequently Asked Questions
What is Coated Seed?
Seed coating is a process designed to create a nutritious environment in the immediate vicinity of the germinating seed. This provides a "boost" for the seedling in its critical early stages of development.
Coated seed benefits the plant in its critical seedling stage thus ensuring early vigor and maximum establishment. There is some carryover effect from this increased seedling vigor but once the fertilizer coat has been assimilated by the plant, it cannot be of any further direct benefit in its future development.
In the past, some users have expected coated seed to allow them to ignore good seeding techniques, yet still obtain an optimum stand. Coated seed does provide major advantages but good cultivation techniques must still be followed. Obviously coating cannot alter the inherent genetic characteristics of the seed such as yield capacity.
The present economic, nutrient and chemical benefits, which are available to coated seed users today, make it a very worthwhile product.
Precision Seed Coaters has many benefits and advantages to offer turf grass and forage growers alike. These include the most effective method of preinoculation available, significant benefits to the seedling from the starter fertilizer package contained in the coat and the fact that it is an economical effective method of seed treatment. Coating is considered the simplest and safest way to apply any seed treatment including Growth Promoting Regulators (GPR).
Our PrecisionCote℠ and NaturalCote℠ processes ensure the seed is uniformly coated with combination of inputs designed to enhance the seed’s genetic performance.
Pre-inoculation is the addition of nodule bacteria (rhizobium) to legume seed, weeks or even months in advance of sowing. It ensures that the bacteria are in close proximity to the roots of the germinating seedling and thus, in a position to cause fast, effective nodulation.
It is true that certain areas of the U.S. do have populations of rhizobium meliloti (alfalfa bacteria) and that in many cases, uninoculated alfalfa seed would nodulate when sown in these soils. It is also true that the yield of many of the plants infected by these native bacteria would be significantly greater had they been nodulated by the more effective strains of rhizobium used in the PrecisionCote℠ and NaturalCote℠ processes.
2) Nutrient Benefits
Seed coating creates a nutritious environment around the establishing seedling and increases vigor during its critical early development. The main nutrient included in our seed coatings is phosphorus. Twenty percent of all, PrecisionCote℠ and NaturalCote℠ grass seed coatings and nine percent of PrecisionCote℠ legume coating is phosphatic fertilizer, which is essential for root development and seedling establishment. Even on soils with sufficiently high phosphorus levels to sustain normal growth, localized placement is very beneficial. It is desirable from the standpoint of accessibility to the establishing seedling and in order to reduce fixation. Phosphorus does not move in the soil, therefore, the nearer it can be placed to the seed, the more effectively it can be utilized by the seedling.
3) Seed Treatments
Seed treatments are often used on turf and forages. Research data available from trials using various seed treatments indicate that they can have a detrimental effect on the viability of some strains of rhizobium. Research with coated seed products containing seed treatments has shown excellent compatibility between them and rhizobium when the rhizobium are encased by the layering effect of the coating materials.
4) Protection from Stress Conditions
The coating materials, as well as the physical barrier created by the coat itself, protect the rhizobium and seed from low pH conditions. Calcium Carbonate is very effective in buffering soil pH in the micro-environment around the seed. The pH range of coated seed (6.5 to 7.0) is optimum for nutrient uptake and while desiccation can quickly reduce rhizobium populations, the coat offers the bacteria protection from the effects of drying winds and sun. This is especially beneficial when forage legumes are sown by air or broadcast.
5) Protection from Animals, Birds and Fertilizers
Most rodents and birds do not recognize coated seed as food. The increased size of the seed is one-reason birds do not take it and the coating materials, especially the dyes and phosphate used in turfgrasses, are not at all palatable to either rodents or birds. Some fertilizers, e.g. superphosphate and sulphate of ammonia, can’t be mixed with uncoated seed. The coating layer protects both the seed and the rhizobium from the harmful effects of these fertilizers.
6) Ballistic Properties
Coated grass seed is approximately twice the weight of bare seed. Aerial sown grasses penetrate ground cover more effectively than bare seed and thus make better contact with the seedbed. Some seeds, e.g. meadow foxtail and bromegrass, are difficult to sow due to their very light weight. Coating can increase the weight of these species, by as much as three times and this, combined with the increased size of the seed, facilitates sowing.
What kind of Seed can be coated?
Kind of seeds
Virtually any kind of seed can be coated. However Precision Seed Coaters and its sister company Canadian Seed Coaters specialize in species like: Canola, Alfalfa, Clovers, Trefoil, other Legumes, Bermuda Grass, Centipede, Dichondra, Blue Grass, Fescues, Rye Grasses, Bent Grass, Brome Grass, Foxtail, Orchard Grass, Timothy and Native Grasses.
Please contact us if you have any other coating requirements not listed here.
What are the benefits of using Precision Coated Seed?
Added Nutrient Package
Triple super phosphate is included in Precision coated forage and turf grasses to give the seedling increased vigor and assist in the establishment of a healthy root system. The phosphate used is largely available phosphoric acid and, as it is placed in the immediate vicinity of the developing seedling, it can be utilized by the growing plant before becoming "fixed" and relatively unavailable.
Application of Seed Treatments
Chemical seed protectants such as Thiram and Apron can be safely sealed within the coating next to the seed. Precision coating distributes seed treatments more evenly over the seed and eliminates "dusting off". Seed treatments do not have to be handled by the growers, which results in a greater degree of safety for them.
Pre-Inoculation of Legumes
Inoculants, containing massive numbers of carefully selected viable Rhizobium are sealed inside the coating of all legumes. Precision coating provides ideal conditions for rhizobial survival and nutrient uptake. For the latest in legume pre-inoculation technology, ask for details on Rhizoseal® and Rhizoseal® Premium.
Protection from Stress Conditions, Birds & Rodents
Coating offers protection from stress conditions. These include the type of adverse conditions created by lack of moisture, the effects of wind and sun, as well as nutritional deficiencies and acidic soils.
Ease of Seeding
Coated seed is heavier than bare seed, which enables it to make better contact with the soil. Some seeds, e.g. Meadow Foxtail and Buffalo grass, are difficult to sow due to their light fluffy appearance. Coating increases the weight and size of these seeds, thus facilitating seeding. Coated seed makes seeding easier, helps prevent overlapping, and also improves uniformity of application.
Seed appearance, enhanced with the use of dyes and other "shelf-appeal" products, can increase the seed value from an "ease of marketing standpoint."