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.