Wheat School: How to properly treat seed

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

A job worth doing is worth doing right — and seed treating is no different.

This is the sentiment Brian Ellis of Graham Seed Treating Systems Ltd. at Olds, Alta., shares in our latest episode of the Wheat School. In order to do this, it means you have to plan ahead, says Ellis.

A poor job of applying the seed treatment itself can cause a loss of benefit that has been invested into the crop for that year.

“If you can be a little proactive, do a little bit of maintenance ahead of time, make sure everything’s ready to go, it’s really going to lower their stress level on day one,” he explains.

“Let’s assume your treater is winterized. Bring your treater out, make sure you flush a bit of water through it. See if you have any leaks. Number one: are your strainers leaking? Are your hoses leaking? Is there any cracked hoses that have been in the sun that need to be replaced, etc?”

Once you think you have it ready to go, Ellis suggests running some water through it, as it’s going to be a lot easier to test with just a bit of water, versus a jug of seed treatment going out on a leak.

Check out the full conversation between Ellis and RealAgriculture’s Kara Oosterhuis, below:

The second thing you’re going to want to do once you get going, is making sure you are coating the seed evenly — which can be done by sending a sample into the lab, which gives you an idea for later in the season, or next year. You can also collect a sample as it goes into the trucks after it’s been through the augers.

“We’re looking for uniformity across the seed, make sure that as many kernels as possible have the same amount of dosage on it. And don’t just go by colour — make sure you’re following the manufacturer’s advice on what the recommended rates are because some of these treatments look different. They have different pigments in different shades of red. So if you’re used to seeing one, and you look at the other, you might be looking for the wrong things.”

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