Section 3: Selection of Treatment Product

Summary: The selection of the seed treatment product(s), coating materials, micronutrients and/or other additives (“seed applied technology”) is the key factor in affecting performance, health, safety and environmental impacts of seed treatment. Selection of products and combinations should be based on evaluation of significant data demonstrating their suitability for use as a seed treatment and on the application process to be used.

  1. Manufacturer / Consultant Recommendations
    1. Manufacturers of seed treatment products, colorants, polymers and other seed treatment/coating additives should be consulted for proper use and application of their products.
    2. In addition, consultants specializing in seed treatment compositions and applications may be used; or the application process and/or seed treatment component combinations may be developed by in-house expertise.
    3. Only reputable suppliers/consultants should be used.
    4. Manufacturers/consultants should provide to seed treatment facilities information to support the effectiveness of their product(s), including data on efficacy, seed safety, flowability, plantability, dust levels of treated seed, and temperature limitations/requirements for the treating process.
    5. At a minimum, treatment uniformity should be demonstrated with visual assessment of treated seed samples.
  2. Efficacy
    1. Consult product labels for pests controlled and rates required and use products suitable for the pests of concern.
    2. Use recommended rates to control pests of concern as defined on the label.
  3. Seed Safety
    1. Seed germination may be affected by “seed applied technology” and must be verified prior to using a specific product or combination of products.
    2. Verification of seed safety should include the determination of germination of treated seed over a period of time equivalent to commercial storage of treated seed.
  4. Treating Process Recommendations
    1. The application process must achieve accurate and uniform coating of the seed.
    2. Follow recommendations of suppliers or other experts.
    3. Use the appropriate slurry volume for the environment conditions at the time of seed treatment.
    4. Do not treat seed when the environmental or seed temperature is below recommended limitations.
    5. Keep accurate records of all seed treatment applications.
  5. Ready-to-Use Products vs. Mixtures
    1. “Ready to Use” products are designed to treat seed effectively without use of additional components other than water.
      1. Manufacturers should provide data to demonstrate the performance of these “Ready-to-Use” formulations.
      2. If other components are added to a “Ready to Use” product, the compatibility of the combination should be verified.
        “Mixtures” include seed treatment product(s), coating materials, micronutrients, and/or other additives. The specific combination must be evaluated and verified to be suitable. Physical and seed safety compatibility of mixtures should be verified.
  6. Overtreatment
    1. Overtreatment is the application of Seed Applied Technology to previously treated seed. Such applications may be in addition to a base commercial treatment to provide protection against pests of concern in the local environment.
    2. In some cases, previously treated seed may be overtreated with other seed applied technology.
    3. The suitability of such overtreatments should be verified, including seed safety and dust levels.
  7. Label Directions for Use and Restrictions
    1. Comply with all product label requirements.
    2. When using a combination of products with the same active ingredient (AI), (such as when adding additional metalaxyl to a metalaxyl containing product, ensure that the total rate of active ingredient does not exceed the maximum allowable rate.
    3. When working with multiple registered products, comply with the most restrictive label requirements of the individual components.
  8. Export Considerations
    1. Different countries have different rules for importing treated seed. When exporting treated seed, check regulations for the country to verify that the seed treatment is acceptable for import.
    2. Provide accurate documentation of any seed treatments applied to seeds for export.
  9. Assessment of Treating Properties
    1. Prior to using in a commercial process, the seed applied technology should be assessed in a small-scale process for treating properties including:
      1. Uniformity of treatment; and
      2. Build-up of treatment material or any other adverse effects on application equipment.
    2. Alternatively, the treatment may be suitable if it has been used successfully in another similar commercial operation.
  10. Assessment of Treated Seed Properties
    1. Treated seed from the commercial operation should be evaluated for suitability in the following parameters:
      1. Uniformity of treatment coating of individual seeds(visual evaluation is acceptable);
      2. Presence and amount of treated seed dust;
      3. Field application rate of seed treatment; and
      4. Any other known pertinent qualities.