Articles Within Our Area of Expertise: Seed Treatment Technologhy

Over our 55 years of experience within seed treatment equipment, we have gathered a lot of expert knowledge that we love to share with you. Click on each headline to get to specific articles, or scroll your way through our collection of insights.

How to handle the drying process of treated seed

Dust Off, Bridging, Doubles, Clumping, Plantability, Treater/Packaging Throughput, Seed Coverage… 

Are any of these terms coming up in conversation about your current seed treating processes? If you think you have issues treating with current market accepted rates, what will you do when those applications rates double? 

The seed treatment segment of our industry continues to show promise, it certainly is growing at a faster clip than the seed industry in general. There are a multitude of factors involved that could be discussed at length…the baseline is that seed treatments make sense. 

They are good for the seed company in allowing a way to add value and differentiation (and yes, of course add some profit) to a product that is all too easily lost in “commodity market” economic pricing. 

They are good for the grower in the fact that they make planting easier and more efficient, they boost germination, and create better stands of crop, thus setting the potential for better yields. You can even make the argument that seed treatments are good for all consumers…better crop yields = less starvation (yes I know that was a broad leap, but I am trying to get to the point); concentration of treatments on the seed helps minimize broader chemical application after germination, potentially keeping farming practices sustainable and ground water clean. So if seed treatments make sense for all parties involved, it stands to reason that the market will push the envelope on what we can adhere to the exterior of the seed. That brings me back to my original question, What will you do when application rates double? Oliver Manufacturing has been working on solutions for seed treatment woes for 20+ years. They have created a treating/drying system for seed that alleviates the issues discussed. This system incorporates NoroGard Seed Treaters, both batch and continuous flow treating, with a drying system that introduces heat if necessary. This summer Oliver Manufacturing completed a world class, FULL COMMERCIAL SCALE, treating and drying installation in their R&D facilities in S.E. Colorado USA. Their aim is to help you maximize your seed performance by being able to push the envelope on treating application rates in a realistic setting…no more mock up of lab size test results! If you would like to discuss how Oliver Manufacturing can help you keep your investment on the seed, please contact Oliver Manufacturing by email: contactus@olivermanufacturing.com

Sky's the limit

By spending time devising the seed’s characteristics, you will develop a unique product for the marketplace. 

What if you could create the perfect seed? What would its characteristics be? In what ways would you enhance that seed? What if you could choose the characteristics that add value to that seed? It’s important to take time to dream about—to conceptualize—your perfect seed. 

You can choose and develop the characteristics of the seed end-users will value. For example, what do you want to add to the seed, how do you want the seed to behave, and what kind of value are you offering your customers and why? 

Also, what do you want to do with the seed—do you want to make it easier to plant with planting equipment by developing a harder, more durable pellet? Or, do you need to add weight to a vegetable seed, so it can’t be carried away by the wind when seeding? 

sky is the limit

If you want to add color to the seed, what color should you choose, how shiny do you want it and why? Do you want to add micronutrients to the seed to help it grow faster and stronger? In short, what value do you want to add to the seed?

By spending time devising the seed’s characteristics, you will develop a unique product for the marketplace.

A useful tool to help you make one-of-a-kind products is a sophisticated seed coater. By owning your own equipment and finishing your product in-house, you have creative control over your goods—and the sky is truly the limit for your market development.

If you process your seed in-house, you can decide how to develop the value of your product. You also have control over processing and delivery schedules. Your seed processing costs will be lower, and you’ll experience increased efficiencies.

In addition, you will own your equipment, seed processing methods and recipes, and there is a high and rapid return on investment. At NoroGard, we see the future in seed innovations and now also provide the knowledge and expertise required to train your staff on site and to develop methods and recipes for your unique products.

With these tools to hand, you can make the most of your product and create a seed no one can say no to.

Batch Seed Treaters VS Continuous Seed Treaters

In my daily contact with customers in the seed industry I often get the question: “-Which kind of Seed Treater is the best choice?”,  referring to rotating Batch Seed Treater compared to Continuous flow Seed Treaters. Of course I can only speak for our own NoroGard equipment, but this is the advice I would like to give you.

A Batch Seed Treater, is the given choice, if you are going to build up seeds into pellets, for example like sugar beet seeds, or if you are going to treat small seeds, like vegetable seeds. The Batch Treater is ideal for programming hundreds of different recipes to applicate liquids and powder products in layers onto the seed. And even though the seed is treated in batches, the process is performed in a continuous flow. The Batch treater has a very sophisticated control system, and is often a quite heavy investment. 

So unless you are pelleting seeds, treating vegetable seeds or have an urge to spend more cash than you have to, the Continuous flow Treater is the choice for you. 

The Continuous flow Treater is the good choice for treating volume seeds, and suits as well a producer, treating a couple of tons/hour, as a seed plant processing up to 45 tons/hour. The NoroGard Continuous Treater performs a perfect application quality, and you can apply several different liquids and also add powder to the treatment. Watch my attached video to see how NoroGard has added innovation and development to bring more value to you with a NoroGard Continuous flow Treater of Today. 

Factors to consider before investing in seed treatment equipment

When you are making the decision to invest in new seed treatment equipment, there are some factors to consider that will save you grief. 

Long-term planning

If you have an existing line where you need to exchange an old treater, you might need some customizations, but also if you are investing in a new line, there are options on the market to make the equipment fit your exact needs. Make sure your supplier listens to your needs and is not just following up on another lead. Seed treatment use is also increasing, and that’s why you should also consider some extra capacity for future needs and make sure that the equipment can grow with your business by adding a number of dosage systems in the future. If you take pride in being independent, it’s a good idea to check that the treater can handle a wide range of dosage rates. 

Regulations

Make sure the equipment follows regulations and is certified. Also. regulations for health and safety rules in the workplace are wise to consider. Is it operator-friendly? What’s the decibel level? Do I need another language for my operator control to eliminate human errors? Today you can have seed treatment equipment with closed systems that are easy to clean and don´t leave much wastewater to handle. And of course, dust control to benefit both the operator and the environment. 

Application quality

It’s a good thing if the seed treater is tested in an independent laboratory for application quality, germination damage, and with a wide variety of seed. Add to that a continuous flow control and a possibility to check your actual dosage rate, then you have taken a step to better application quality control. 

Life cycle cost

Most people check the price before buying anything, and it’s common to require a quote before investing in new seed treatment equipment. But not that many people actually look at the whole lifecycle cost of the equipment. How many years can you expect your investment to last? What’s the cost of the spare parts? How much is the electrical consumption? What will the cost for maintenance and service be? 

3 Main reasons why size matters

Size matters, but bigger is not always better. The world is changing to smaller and smaller equipment in most aspects of our lives, especially if you are on the cutting edge. However, it is important to keep in mind that smaller machines do not equal less capacity. Footprint, efficiency and corporate sustainability are three reasons why size matters. 

Today’s seed treatment plants are often equipped with large size machinery, despite having very little available space. Furthermore, new trends are spreading where seeds are treated with more products, adding more value which often requires a seed drying system. Due to this, equipment footprint is vital to each organization within the seed treatment industry. The solution is a more compact seed treater which utilizes space more efficiently. Investing in a more compact treater will also make room for a seed drying system. 

NoroGard seed treaters have become cutting-edge technology for the mobile seed treatment industry where it is especially important to use a small space for high capacity equipment. Keeping electricity consumption to a minimum is another consideration on mobile seed processors. These issues all relate to the environmental factors within seed treatment equipment, an area where NoroGard is continuously working to make improvements. 

NoroGard seed treaters were originally designed by a local blacksmith with an aim of using as little material as possible for economic reasons. This led to the company spirit we stand for today. Nonetheless, NoreGard continues to strive to come up with new innovations and solutions to improve corporate sustainability and minimize our environmental impact by, for example, minimizing electricity consumption with improved designs. Compact seed treaters require less material which saves natural resources and thereby decreases our environmental impact. 

The third reason why size matters is the cleaning procedures of your seed treatment equipment. Not only does cleaning of a compact machine minimize the environmental impact by decreasing the amount of contaminated cleaning water to discard, it also provides higher operator safety and improved operator working environment. 

NoroGard seed treaters have very few moving parts. The compact size makes it easier for operators to safely clean the equipment with less chance of accident or injury. Easy cleaning also provides quick and efficient cleaning procedures which result in less downtime and higher productivity. 

Compact equipment size not only utilizes small spaces more efficiently, it may also provide higher capacity, opportunities to decrease environmental impact, improve corporate sustainability, minimize the amount of contaminated cleaning water and minimize electricity consumption. 

When the pump stops, so does your business

One of the most vital organs in your body is your heart. When your heart stops, so do you.

The same goes for your seed treatment equipment. The pump is the heart of your equipment. We design and manufacture our own diaphragm pumps, for transportation and dosing of the liquids, and over the years I’ve learned a lot about the importance of a reliable diaphragm pump.

The liquid treatments on the world market have diverse viscosity, which puts pumps through the ringer. A good diaphragm pump should be tested in-house to make sure it can handle any registered product on the market. Seed treating conditions are often tough. There can be really cold or hot conditions, or huge differences in temperature during the day. 

A diaphragm pump that handles extreme temperature swings ensures you don’t encounter issues with your dosing rate, since you don’t have hoses that react to the temperature as in a peristaltic pump. It also provides you with a low life-cycle cost since you don’t get the wear that you get on squeezed hoses in a peristaltic pump. That lowers your maintenance costs significantly, and also saves you some risk of a major mess when one of those hoses breaks one day — and that day will probably be in the busy season when your pumps are working the hardest. 

A reliable diaphragm pump should also perform in a variety of climatic conditions, both warm and cold, and also where there are major temperature differences during the day, like Australia. A lot of operators have a very short season for treatment, and it´s crucial that your equipment works reliably all through the season. There is no time for breakdowns. 

Pumps don’t just transport liquid — they´re also significant to seed treatment application quality. A good pump must have a pressure equalization, to give you an even flow, which ensures you get a high dosing accuracy. 

But a diaphragm pump is only as good as the care and maintenance it receives. After your treating season is over, it should receive some extra care. Examine your pump and change the membrane, which should be made of rubber and easily replaceable. Just as you care for your heart, your pump should be treated appropriately to ensure it lasts for many years and gives you the reliable performance you need. 

5 Reasons to invest in a Sophisticated Seed Coater

Back in the days, your operator was a loyal workers who oversaw the seed treatment process and knew the art as well as their own hands. Today is different. Temporary workers are more commons and people tend to change workplace frequently. Investing in fully automatic seed treatment systems provides multiple benefits and opportunities. Let me introduce you to five of them.

The seed certificate can only be assigned once the seed fulfils all aspects of the controls carried out. These includes; Each unit of seed must be test-grown before sowing, as well as monitored throughout the entire growth cycle. This to ensure that the seed is growing accordingly and that no other varieties are involved. The production plant is also monitored to determine how seeds are sowed and grown in the facilities. The purpose is to ensure that weed, diseases and other varieties does not exist in the production of a particular seed. The certification also secure that the test-growth of a seed is representative for the entire seed unit. Lastly, the seed unit is analysed in a laboratory to assure that it is the right variety of seed, that no other varieties occur, and that the rate of pure seed is high enough. The germination and water level of the seed is also examined, as well as determining whether the seed is carrying any pathogens.

The seed treatment applications therefore ensure that each seed sold has been equipped with products that provide advantages when growing. The NoroGard seed treaters are designed in a way that even the smallest dosage rates perform top quality treatment of each individual seed. Seed certification as well as the seed treatment procedures operating with high quality yet low dosage rates results in minimised costs and improved growth profit.

All NoroGard seed coaters with a PLC system are provided with a modem connection through mobile networks which allows you to control your seed treatment processes through your mobile device or computer. This type of recordings and reporting shows the amount of treated seed, the dosing rates and how much product has been used as well as controlling this data. This includes the ability to build or monitor recipes remotely. Accessing these data records provides a number of benefits including quality control, the ability to share statistics, decreased risk of human error, improved working environment and distance supervision.

An investment in quality control assures the same high level of quality from week to week, as well as from season to season. This provides a great advantage and strength for the organization since the seed treatment processes are not depending on a single person to measure, dose and control the seed treatments. Furthermore, the access to reports and recordings means that demanded production or quality statistics can be shared easily with the customer.

NoroGard seed coaters with this type of system also allow for the statistics and data to be supervised, controlled and shared from a distance which once again, proves a strength for the organization. Not only does the system run without a worker’s presence being vital for the production, it also minimizes the risk of human error. Because the seed treatment is controlled through the modem connection, it is easy to follow already set recipes and avoid mistakes from being made. The PLC system provides seed coating processes where only the required amount of coating product is used which, in turn, leads to less dust and liquid contaminating both the water system and the air you are breathing. Due to this, a seed coater with a sophisticated PLC system also provides a better work environment. The modem controlled system also means that the worker does not have to handle these types of products themselves, but measures and dosage through a touch screen.

This level of reporting results in customer confidence as you can assure customers an even level of quality throughout time as well as the ability to track seed treating processes in terms of quality guarantee. By delivering statistical data on the seed coating processes, your customers can be assured they get what they pay for based on how much treatment has been applied. This, along with the dosing rates of active ingredients, water and color, can be emailed or printed off to the customer. Knowing the precise dosing rates provides more efficient inventory management through lower costs of active ingredients, easy tracking of seed treatment production and easy supervision.

Lastly, operating your seed coating processes through a PLC system is highly beneficial for regulatory purposes. In terms of various ISO certifications, this type of supervision allows easy quality controls and trackability. In combination with the closed systems that the NoroGard seed coaters are equipped with, the operator is not exposed to treating liquids, physical safety is assured and the risk of human error is minimized.

Seed Certifications will save you money, and this is why

More than 60% of the world’s population is relying on the agriculture industry for survival. Which means that its technological advancements have been a significant contributor toward better living standards and personal interdependence and making the world a better place. These technological innovations include automated calibration of dosage systems, integrated scales, accurate application even at small dosages, along with all other features that comes with sophisticated seed treatment. However, an improved standard of living and increased profitability within the agricultural economies around the world, they are dependent on the seed produced to hold a high quality and growth rate.

Because the seed will be purchased without knowledge of whether it is dead or alive, seed certifications are established to ensure the set growth rate. Certified seed will, in turn, both minimise cost of seed and improve profitability. A seed certification means that an official examination has been carried out regarding the quality, salubrity, indentity and purity. Furthermore, certified seed ensure that the seed fulfils all the set requirements of the seed, as well as safeguarding that you receive the right type of seed. You are also insured to purchase seed that is healthy and treated appropriately for it to grow successfully, without bearing pathogens.

Seed certifications

The seed certificate can only be assigned once the seed fulfils all aspects of the controls carried out. These includes; Each unit of seed must be test-grown before sowing, as well as monitored throughout the entire growth cycle. This to ensure that the seed is growing accordingly and that no other varieties are involved. The production plant is also monitored to determine how seeds are sowed and grown in the facilities. The purpose is to ensure that weed, diseases and other varieties does not exist in the production of a particular seed. The certification also secure that the test-growth of a seed is representative for the entire seed unit. Lastly, the seed unit is analysed in a laboratory to assure that it is the right variety of seed, that no other varieties occur, and that the rate of pure seed is high enough. The germination and water level of the seed is also examined, as well as determining whether the seed is carrying any pathogens.

The seed treatment applications therefore ensure that each seed sold has been equipped with products that provide advantages when growing. The NoroGard seed treaters are designed in a way that even the smallest dosage rates perform top quality treatment of each individual seed. Seed certification as well as the seed treatment procedures operating with high quality yet low dosage rates results in minimised costs and improved growth profit.