Thanks to polymer seed coatings, western Canadian no-tillers are already making fall dormant seeding of canola work.
The technique is letting no-tillers spread out direct seeding workloads and can mean $30 more net income per acre. Add in premiums paid for early harvested canola and the increase in net income could jump to as much as $75 per acre with the dormant seeding use of polymer coatings that delay germination and dormant seeding.
Western Canadian farmers say polymer seed coatings could allow them to grow longer season crops and varieties. Even this far north, polymer seed coatings could let them no-till corn and soybeans, no-till higher yielding cereals, double-crop and dormant seed grasses and alfalfa without the need for cover crops.
Earl Greenhough of Grow Tech in Nisku, Alberta, says treating canola seed with the polymer seed coating called Extender is definitely catching on.
“We are a small company with limited resources, but we will grow slowly with our research projects and we’ll soon be marketing our polymer coatings in the states,” he says.
He expects the company to eventually offer polymer seed coatings for soybeans, alfalfa, mustard, flax, forage grasses and sunflowers.
So far, the company has concentrated on developing a polymer seed coating which allows no-tillers to dormant seed canola in the fall.
“The standard recommendation has always been to plant ‘unprotected seed’ the day before winter arrives,” says Greenhough. “But how practical is knowing when this date is? And how many acres can you…