Coated Seed Corn Finding Its Place As No-Tillers Benefit

Those monitoring their investment in the technology say the returns are proving to be worthwhile; more availability could be on the way.

After more than a decade of testing and four full seasons of commercial sales, Intellicoat Early Plant hybrids show increasing acceptance among no-tillers coping with cold, wet spring soils, reports Landec Ag, developer of the polymer seed-coating product.

Grown on more than 76,000 acres in 2006, Early Plant hybrids are available in a range of maturities, genetic traits and early season insect protection treatments.

The coated seed was marketed this year by Fielder’s Choice (owned by Landec) and several regional seed companies, including Becks, Hubner, Ottilie, Dyna-Gro, Heartland, Legend and Seed Consultants.

Fielder’s Choice alone offers 48 Early Plant hybrids for 2007 with many options available, including triple stacked traits.

For example, no-tillers can choose YieldGard corn borer stacked with Roundup Ready that has Poncho 250 insect protection treatment and Intellicoat Early Plant coating.

Expanding Markets

Coated seed technology might soon be available from more seed companies. During an exclusive interview, Natarajan Balachander, vice president of research and manufacturing for Landec Ag, told No-Till Farmer that efforts are continuing with a few other regional companies to offer branded coated seed next year.

He hinted growers might soon see top-selling national corn seed brands offering Intellicoat seed.

“One of the things we’ve seen happen in recent years with major seed brands, particularly those with enhanced traits, is the bundling of new insecticide treatments as part of the offerings,” he says.

“We think eventually the same thing will be true with seed coating. The seed is becoming so valuable that growers want…

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Ron Ross

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