Factors to Consider Before Investing in Seed Treatment Equipment

- Ketty Nilsson

When you are making the decision to invest in new seed treatment equipment, there are some factors to consider that will save you grief.

  1. Long-term planning. If you have an existing line where you need to exchange an old treater, you might need some customizations, but also if you are investing in a new line, there are options on the market to make the equipment fit your exact needs. Make sure your supplier listens to your needs and is not just following up on another lead. Seed treatment use is also increasing, and that’s why you should also consider some extra capacity for future needs and make sure that the equipment can grow with your business by adding a number of dosage systems in the future. If you take pride in being independent, it’s a good idea to check that the treater can handle a wide range of dosage rates.
  1. Regulations. Make sure the equipment follows regulations and is certified. Also. regulations for health and safety rules in the workplace are wise to consider. Is it operator-friendly? What’s the decibel level? Do I need another language for my operator control to eliminate human errors? Today you can have seed treatment equipment with closed systems that are easy to clean and don´t leave much wastewater to handle. And of course, dust control to benefit both the operator and the environment.
  1. Application quality. It’s a good thing if the seed treater is tested in an independent laboratory for application quality, germination damage, and with a wide variety of seed. Add to that a continuous flow control and a possibility to check your actual dosage rate, then you have taken a step to better application quality control.
  1. Life cycle cost. Most people check the price before buying anything, and it’s common to require a quote before investing in new seed treatment equipment. But not that many people actually look at the whole lifecycle cost of the equipment. How many years can you expect your investment to last? What’s the cost of the spare parts? How much is the electrical consumption? What will the cost for maintenance and service be?