Seed treatments makes it possible to use less product in a more targeted way.

Seed is the starting point for all plant production.

Throughout history, mankind has developed plant varieties that are ever more sophisticated: higher potential for yield, resistance to pests and pathogens, and suitability for specific uses or areas of cultivation. Protecting the seed has always been crucial for plant breeders, seed producers, and farmers, as it’s the basis for a healthier, better crop.

By applying only very small quantities of plant protection products directly to the seed itself, prior to the sowing, seed treatments protect the seed during germination and protect the plant itself during growth. With much lower chemical intensity per hectare, it is more environmentally friendly than spraying crops in the field.

The highly industrialized treatment process is conducted by specialist professionals, with safety and environmental issues carefully managed throughout. Facilities are designed to ensure safe operating conditions and special equipment protects workers from any accidental exposure to the chemicals. By using treated seed, farmers no longer have to handle or mix the actual chemical substances themselves – this practically eliminates any risks of unwanted exposure.

The technology also makes it possible to combine different applications into only one sowing procedure, thereby reducing the use of fuel, the risks of soil erosion and compression and thus assisting low-intensity farming practices and an integrated pest management policy.

The European seed sector has developed a quality scheme to ensure the safe treatment of seeds against pests and diseases. The European Seed Treatment Assurance standard, ESTA, is the quality scheme for the application of plant protection products on seed. It also provides guidance for the handlina and the use of treated seed.

ESTA addresses the entire seed supply chain from fine seed cleaning to the use of the treated seed in the field. The result is that treating sites certified to the ESTA Standard reliably treat seed with authorized plant protection products, resulting in quality products for the final user: farmer, grower, plant raiser or contractor.

Picture credit: Incotec International bv

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