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Active Ingredient: By EPA’s definition, An active ingredient is one that prevents, destroys, repels or mitigates a pest. Products intended only to aid in the growth of desirable plants (such as giberrellins, auxins) are also consider active ingredients For seed treatment products, this typically includes fungicides, insecticide and nematicides but may also include bacteriocides or others.

Agronomic: Related to agronomy, the use of soil and plant sciences for the production of crops.

Application Rate: The application rate of Seed Treatments, Seed Treatment Products and/or Seed Treatment Components. For liquid Seed Treatment Products, rates are typically expressed in fl.oz product/cwt.; or in mg ai/kernel on the label. In Seed Treating Plants, units may be converted to more convenient units for the operation, such as gallons per ton of seed.

Calibration: The adjustment of seed treatment equipment to apply the target rate of slurry or Seed Treatment Product and the verification thereof.

Chaff: Thin dry bracts or scales, especially the dry bracts enclosing mature grains of cereal grasses, primarily removed during threshing but which may be present in low levels in commercial seed. More generally, seed debris.

Commercial Application: The application of Seed Treatments to seed in commercial facilities (as opposed to application on-farm and in planters.

Contact: Pesticides that act only on the surface of the applied plant or seed surface (as opposed to Systemic)

Control Points: Any point in a process where an input occurs that can be monitored, where an adjustment is present that effects the quality, or where a quality parameter is measured that can be used to help ensure the quality of the process output.

Diseases: Diseases of seeds, seedling and plants. Most commonly these are caused by fungi or fungus like organisms (such as oomycetes e.g. pythium); but may also be bacteria or viruses. Common diseases controlled by seed treatments are bunt, smuts, rhizoctonia, fusarium and phomopsis. Seed treatments are often used to control such diseases either directly (e.g. by killing the fungus) or indirectly (such as by controlling an insect that vectors a viral disease).

Drift: The physical movement of pesticide droplets or particles through the air from the target site to any non-target site (which could result in Off Target Exposure)

Dust – field: This refers to dust generated from the soil. Such dust may be picked up and dispersed in the air by the planting equipment during the planting process.

Dust – treated seed: Fine particulate matter contained in or easily dislodged from treated seed. It consists or both the naturally occurring Untreated Seed Dust as well as components of the Seed Treatment. Treated seed typically contains less dust than untreated seed.

Dust – untreated seed: Fine particulate matter contained in or easily dislodged from untreated seed. It primarily consists of naturally occurring components of the seed such as chaff and the seed coat but may also contain some level of dust from soil.

Dust  – lubricant: Lubricants are powdered materials that are added in the planter box to improve seed flow in the planter. This can potential create air borne dust during planting.

Dust drift: See Drift. Specifically, dust drift is drift of dusts such as Treated Seed Dust and Lubricant Dust

Efficacy: The effectiveness of a pesticide product for controlling the target pest(s).

Emergency Preparedness Plan: A documented, trained and implemented plan for actions to be taken in the event of anticipatable emergencies. Examples of emergencies include tornadoes, earthquakes and chemical spills.

Engineering and System Controls: Engineering and Systems Controls are equipment, measurement systems, and operating systems designed to allow safe and effective operation of equipment such as seed treating processes. Such equipment includes calibration devices for applying the correct rate of seed treatment product and ventilation system to reduce dusts in the seed treating operation.

Ethanol By-products: All products from the production of ethanol excluding ethanol and water. Includes distillers dried grains, and distillers wet grains.

Ethanol production: The conversion of biological matter into ethanol and ethanol by-products using fermentation and physical-chemical processes.

Export: The shipment of treated seed to commercial points outside the country of origin.

Exposure – Occupational: The physiological exposure of people working with seed treatments through contact with the Seed Treatment Products or Treated Seed. Skin contact and inhalation of dusts or mists are typically the most significant routes of exposure.

Federal Seed Act: A USA legislation that defines labeling and purity standards for seeds in commerce, and prohibits the importation and movement of adulterated or misbranded seeds.
See http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title07/7cfr201_main_02.tpl

Flowability: See Seed Flow. The lack of resistance to flow for seed and treated seed.

Flowering plants: n. A plant that produces flowers, fruit and seeds. As used in this document, it refers to such plants that are in bloom (i.e. when flowers are present).

Germination: There are numerous definitions of germination, one practical one being “”

Handlers: “Handlers” can refer to Handlers of Seed Treatment Products” (e.g. loaders, mixers or Seed Treater Operators) or “Handlers of Treated Seed” (e.g. Baggers, sewers, stackers, planter operators). Personal protective equipment may be specified for individual or groups of “handlers”.

Handling: Handling includes the movement or products and treated seed, including but not limited to loading, unloading, weighing, bagging, sewing, stacking, and planter loading and operation.

Hazardous components: Components which present health, safety or environmental hazards.

Headland: A strip of land left unplowed at the end of a field.

Insects: Scientifically, an insect is any animal of the class Insecta, comprising small, air-breathing arthropods having the body divided into three parts (head, thorax, and abdomen), and having three pairs of legs and usually two pairs of wings. For the purpose of this document, “insect” may also mean any small arthropod, such as a spider, tick, or centipede, having a superficial, general similarity to the insects. Insects may be harmful to a crop; or beneficial to the crop or the environment. Seed treatment are used to control harmful insects.

Lubricant: A material added to seed to aid in Seed Flow in a planter. Such products are added when the seed is loaded into the planter, or may be metered in during planting. Lubricants are generally powders, with talc and graphite being the most common. New lubricants are under developments.

Manufacturer: The producers of products for application as Seed Applied Technology and equipment.

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS): The MSDS is a detailed informational document prepared by the manufacturer or importer of a hazardous chemical. It describes the physical and chemical properties of the product, and is a tool for communicating safe handling and environmental protection requirements for chemical products. For pesticide products such as Seed Treatment Products, the information on the label takes precedence over the information on the MSDS.

Maximum Allowable Rate: The maximum allowable rate of application (typically specified in fl.oz product/cwt. of seed or oz. active ingredient/cwt. of seed) for a given product on a given seed type (crop) as specified on the EPA approved label.

Mixture: See “Slurry”

Nematodes: Any of several worms of the phylum Nematoda, having unsegmented, cylindrical bodies, often narrowing at each end. Certain parasites attached the roots of crops and can cause significant plant damage ranging from negligible injury to total destruction of the plant.

Non-target organisms: Those organisms (normally plants, animals and aquatic organisms) that are not intended to be mitigated or controlled by a pesticide. For example, seed treatment insecticides are applied to control certain pests such as wireworms or aphids, and not intended to impact the health of honeybees or other pollinators, so honey bees would be non-target organisms.

Off Target Exposure: For seed treatments, the seed is the target application location for the Seed Treatment. Anything other than this would a “off target”. Off target exposure therefore refers to things (such as other plants or animals) in the environment which may be contacted with the seed treatment or seed treatment dust during application or planting; or in the case of animals by ingestions of treated seeds.

Overtreatment: 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.

Packaging: The container holding the untreated or treated seed or holding Seed Treatment Products or other seed treatment components.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Equipment that is worn by employees to mitigate hazards of a process. For seed treating operations, PPE is typically means to reduce exposure of operators to seed treatments and treated seed dust. Such PPE includes but is not limited to long-sleeved shirts; long pants; shoes; socks; goggles; chemical resistant gloves; and respirators.

Pesticide: As defined by the USEPA, pesticides are defined as follows. For seed treatments, these are generally covered by definition 1, and in particular fungicides, insecticides and nematicides.

  1. any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest;
  2. any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant; and
  3. any nitrogen stabilizer.


Pests of concern: The specific pest(s) causing agronomic impediments that are sought to be controlled.

Plantability: The ability of seed or treated seed to flow through planting equipment in the absence of build up on equipment to allow uniform and consistent planting of seed.

Planter Equipment: Equipment used to plant seed, of which there are many types. Examples include Box drills, mechanical meter planers, air seeds, and positive air pressure planters (with and without central commodity systems).

Planting Depth: The depth below the seed surface where the seed is placed during Sowing. The depth used can depend on crop, moisture conditions, restrictions on treated seed tags, and other factors.

Pollinators: Animals that carry pollen from one seed plant to another, which aids the plants in their reproduction. Common pollinators include insects, especially bees, butterflies and birds.

Product label: Product Label refers to the EPA approved “Seed Treatment Product” label, as opposed to the “Seed Tag”.

Product Stewardship: “Product stewardship is the practice of making health, safety and environmental protection an integral part of the life cycle of chemicals. It is an integral component of the global chemical industry’s Responsible Care® initiative and includes evaluations of risks and the development of actions to protect human health and the environment commensurate with those risks.

Product stewardship is a shared responsibility between chemical producers, their suppliers and their customers. It requires the development of close, sustained dialogue and working relationships with suppliers, customers, and others in relevant value chains. These parties should share information up and down the value chain to ensure that chemicals are used and managed safely throughout their life-cycle.
Extracted from Responsible Care(R)’s Stewardship Guidelines.
http://www.icca-chem.org/ICCADocs/Product Stewardship Guidelines – Final.doc

Ready to Use Products: Products which may be applied as is without further dilution to provide the required pesticides, color and treatment retention while coating uniformly onto the seed. May also be used in combination with other Seed Treatment Components or water.

Seed Applied Technology: All materials applied to seed including any combination of Seed Treatment Products, Seed Treatment Polymers, Seed Treatment Colorants, inoculants, micronutrients, biologicials and other Seed Treatment Components.

Seed Flow: The uniformity and freedom of flow of seed through a system, generally through a seed conditioning or treating plant; or through a planter. Poor seed flow may be slow or inconsistent seed flow, or plugging of auguer or conveyors or other handling equipment. Seed treatments may positively or negatively impact seed flow.

Seed Moisture: The free water content of seeds, typically measured as a percentage.

Seed Safety: The lack of negative effects on the germination of the seed including maintenance of the percent germination and lack of phytoxic symptoms from Seed Applied Technology in comparison to an untreated control.

Seed tag: “Seed tag” refers to the wording applied to a container of treated seed or found on a tag/label attached to the container of treated seed including as a minimum the EPA specified requirements specified on the “Product Label”. It is typically found in the “TREATED SEED LABELING” section. The minimum requirement is normally “This package or bag contains seed which has been treated with specified active ingredients. Do not use for food, feed or oil purposes. Store away from feeds and foodstuffs.” Other information such as planting restrictions or personal protective equipment required for seed handlers may also be specified.

Seed Treater: Equipment designed to apply seed treatments to seed. Such equipment should be designed so it can be calibrated to accurately and uniformly apply the product to seed. Numerous types of seed treaters exist.

Seed Treatment: Seed treatment is the application of biological organisms and chemical ingredients to seed to suppress, control, or repel plant pathogens, insects, or other pests that attack seeds, seedlings or plants. Seed applied technologies such as inoculants, herbicide safeners, micronutrients, plant growth regulators, seed coatings, colorants, etc. may also be applied to the seed. Treated seed is intended for planting only and not for food or feed uses.

Seed Treatment Colorants: Products whose primary function is to impart coloration to seed treatments and in turn color to treated seed. Treated seed is colorized or otherwise adulterated in appearance to allow visual identification that it is treated so as to identify is as unfit for human consumption and to identify the possibility of other hazards associated with treated seed. May contain other additives such as polymers or other dust reducing agents.

Seed Treatment Components: Seed Treating Components are products and ingredients found in “Slurries” including but not limited to Seed Treatment Products, Seed Treatment Colorants, Seed Treatment Polymers, water, micronutrients, inoculants and other products.

Seed Treatment Polymers: Products added to seed treatments whose primary function is to reduce dust of treated seed and to improve retention of seed treatment active ingredients on the seed

Seed Treatment Product: In this document, “Seed Treatment Product” refers only to pesticide containing seed treatment products that are EPA registered for such use and bear an EPA registration number. These typically include fungicides, insecticides and nematicides but also may contain other pesticide types or combinations such active ingredients. It excludes colorants, polymers, micronutrients and other products that do not contain active ingredients.

Seeding Rate: The amount of seed planted per unit area; typically expressed in bushels, pounds, or number of seeds per acre.

Slurry: The combined treating composition for application to seed. It may be as simple as a single ready to use product, or a combination of several Seed Treatment Components and water.

Sow: To plant seed into the ground for the purpose of growing a crop.

Spills: An unintended and uncontrolled release of a product (namely Seed Treatment Products, Seed Treatment Components or Treated Seeds in this document).

Storage Facility: A building or other area where seed treatments and their components are stored prior to use.

Suppliers: The commercial provider of a product, which may or may not been a manufacturer and includes dealers and distributors.

Systemic: Pesticides that are taken up and translocated within a plant in sufficient quantities to provide protection from the pest of interest.

Transport: The movement of products or treated seed from one location to another in the commercial chain normally by trucks, boat or rail. It also includes movement of product within a plant or on a farm, such as by augering, conveying, or elevating through elevators.

Treated seed: Seed that has been treated with a “Seed Treatment Product”.

Wastewater: Any water contaminated with Seed Treatment Products or other Seed Treatment Components, such as from washing equipment.

Waterways: Any pathway of water that is constantly moving such as approaches, aqueduct, arroyo, beck, bed, bourn, braided stream, branch, brook, brooklet, burn, canal, channel, creek, creek bed, crick, culvert, donga, dry bed, fairway, flowing stream, flume, fluviation, fresh, freshet, gill, gulch, gully, gullyhole, headrace, irrigation ditch, kill, lazy stream, meandering stream, mid-channel, midstream, millstream, moving road, navigable river, nullah, race, racing stream, river, river bed, riverway, rivulet, road, run, rundle, runlet, runnel, sea lane, seaway, ship route, sike, sluice, spill stream, spillbox, spillway, steamer track, stream, stream action, stream bed, streamlet, streamway, subterranean river, swash, swash channel, tailrace, wadi, water carrier, water channel, water furrow, water gap, water gate, watercourse, and waterworks