The Process of Developing New Seed Treatments

Germains Seed Technology continues to lead the seed industry by placing emphasis on new product development and diversifying their product portfolio so that they may continue to support our customer’s needs. With R&D facilities in the US and Europe, Germains’ has a team of Scientists, who collaborate and focus their research on developing new seed treatments for sugar beets for both North America and Europe.

The Development of a New Seed Treatment:
While developing new products there are four main areas of focus, which are Modus, Priming, Pellet, and Health.
Modus: It covers the fundamental seed biology and new test development to understand seed physiology.
Priming: It research continues for further improvement of priming technology.
Pellet: Germains regularly looks at the potential of pellet materials for increased emergence.
Health: The Health technology evaluates what may be applied to the seeds to help increase yields.

Extensive Lab Testing:
Researcher conducts germination, emergence, stress tests, storage tests, and growth tests in the lab. Seeds are placed in paper pleats so that the seeds may germinate under ideal conditions. Germination tests are conducted under different stresses of moisture, temperature, oxygen levels, and salt to see how the seed treatment performs under various conditions.

At UK lab, scientists use an automated robotic arm to take pictures of trays of seed in pleats every three hours to ensure more accuracy when tracking seed emergence. Another laboratory test consists of planting seeds on a compost bed and then covered with a layer of sand. After planting, this test may be filmed so that we may visually track the speed of emergence and compare treatments.

Field Testing New Seed Treatments:
When all the lab tests show consistent positive results, the new products are tested in small plot replicated trials conducted by contractors, universities, and customers. To monitor how the products are performing, field emergence, leaf area, canopy cover, and yields results are taken from the small plot trials. Field emergence data is gathered by manually taking stand counts in the spring. Multiple years of data is used and evaluated so that they determine whether or not the new product is ready to be introduced to their customers so they may begin conducting commercial trials.

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