Seed Coating Enhances Nitrogen Assimilation

- Tom Kroll

Key to any growth enhancer applied as a seed treatment is that it impacts plant metabolism at a very basic level. Farmers are very aware that excessive application of N fertilizer hurts their profit margins. They also understand that yield penalties associated with inadequate nitrogen can be much larger. A balance between these two sides means that plants must become increasingly efficient in nitrogen assimilation. The idea is that stimulating a plant’s nitrogen uptake will result in faster seedling growth, healthier plants and larger yields.

There are a number of ways to impact plant metabolism and everyone approaches the issue of enhancement differently. In this case, Nufarm is targeting the base nitrogen cycle with Sembolite™, a nutrient management additive developed to optimize nitrogen utilization. Sembolite works inside the plant, resulting in increased activity in the plant’s physiological glutamic pathway. This pathway is present in all plants. It is responsible for regulating the uptake of nitrogen as well as impacting other essential metabolic functions.

This stimulation results in accelerated absorption of nitrogen from the soil and its incorporation into amino acids and proteins, building blocks necessary for grain production. This process is complimentary to applied nutrients, nitrogen fixers and biological stimulants. For example, studies have illustrated an increase in nodulation when Sembolite is used in combination with root nodulation bacteria.

Also key for its use as growth enhancer is that it be safe to the seed, physically compatible with the other components in the treatment, can be used at a relatively low rate, and stable both in the mix and on the seed. While many growth enhancers do some of these things, Sembolite has all these attributes.

Sembolite nutrient management additive is labeled as a seed treatment for use on barley, canola, corn, cotton, soybeans, sugar beets, rice, rye and wheat.