Is the seed treated, or does it just look like it?
In seed treatment it´s quite common that the seed treatment quality is determined by an ocular test. If it has a nice and bright color, its well treated.
-Or is it?
Todays complex treatments and huge amount of products gives you a world of opportunities to ad value to your seed, but can you really determine with your eye wether you get a high quality seed treatment that is gonna give you the return of your investment?
-No, you can not.
Seed treatment dosages are today down to 50 ml / 100 kg (1,7 oz/ 220 lb) of seed. It saves us from transporting water but it puts some pressure on the equipment suppliers. Not only is it a challenge to apply this tiny dosage rate evenly applied on every individual seed. You also have to check your dosage rate tolerances. You need to assure that you don´t apply to little, and lack protection of your seed.
I am sure the buyer of the seed likes to think he is getting full value for his money.
You also need to assure that you don´t overdose and kill the seed, -or just waste your money.
Even if you use more common dosage rates it´s of great importance to have an accurate dosage rate. Let´s say you are looking to apply 200 ml/ 100 kg (6,8 oz/ 2200 lb) seed treatment product to your seed. If your dosage rate differ 10% and you have a processing capacity of 45 ton/hour -this means you might overdose at least 90 litre (2700 oz) of chemical in ONE day (and ONE product).
Imagine what that does to your economy in the long run.
Using a sophisticated continuous flow control in your dosage system where you can program what dosage difference you can tolerate is a good investment. The ability to control the tolerances and keep an accurate dosage rate will earn you the money back. But in order to keep a low tolerance of difference in the dosage rate you need to have a sophisticated dosage system to begin with.
If you use a dosing system based on weight lost you should be aware that this is based on the density of the chemicals, and that´s a factor that never is consistent. Even if you use the same product, the density differ in each barrel. This means you will get a different dosing rate to your seed every time you change the package.
Also to be considered, if you pump the treatment liquid directly from your chemical tank up to your application in the treater, you will get a different dosage rate depending on the level in your tank. Depending on if your tank is full or half empty, you get a different pressure in your transportation pump and that effects your dosing rate.
If you on top of that use peristaltic pumps in your dosage system, you have aspects as for example temperature to consider. If you start treating in the morning when the temperature is low, during the day when temperature raises, the hoses in your peristaltic pump system will expand and give you a different dosage rate.
Choosing a sophisticated system to help you push the envelop and keep an eye on your dosage rate control is a good investment. But not everything that shines are gold, so make sure you know what you pay for.