5 Reasons to Treat Seed Real Time

- Jason Kaeb

More than ever before, we are living in a “real-time world.” CEOs and managers expect to be able to see their financial data or inventory numbers in real time, no matter their location. Consumers expect to login to a computer and see what’s in stock on their local grocer’s shelves. Most recently, Amazon opened its first store and it doesn’t have cashiers. There’s no waiting; checkout is done real time as customers grab and go. Shoppers are happy because they don’t have to wait in lines and cashiers can be used in other areas. Amazon says they are going to use them to prepare more fresh food options for shoppers.

Farmers are no different; they don’t want to wait on seed when it’s time to put the planter in the field. They want the ability to change their orders if the Mother Nature throws a curve ball. They also expect to be as efficient as possible, and expect the same of you. Here’s five reasons why you should be treating seed real time:

1. You don’t have to worry about reconciling last minute changes to seed treatment packages, be it the actual treatment or even quantity. It gives you flexibility to change and adapt as your customers need to modify their planting intentions based on the weather, market price or land transfers/acquisitions.

2. You don’t have to worry about over treating or having excess treated seed. For example, a few years ago, we had a really wet spring and in some areas the ground never did dry up enough for farmers to plant. By the time they got to plant in other areas, many farmers opted to forego their seed treatment package, and dealers got stuck with a lot of treated seed. Dealers can return seed that’s not been treated. Once a seed is treated, it has to be planted or properly disposed. For proper handling of treated seed, please reference the Guide to Seed Treatment Stewardship {link to https://seed-treatment-guide.com}.

3. You don’t have to worry about the shelf life of inoculants or biologicals. Dealers that pre treat seed often have to run it through a second time to apply inoculants and biologicals. This adds to labor and seed handling costs. It’s also common for these treatments to be added in the planter box or with a spray nozzle, which are not as sophisticated or efficacious. You lose efficiency by not doing it all at once.

4. You don’t have to worry about storage space, which costs money. Space is valuable, and it’s not needed if you’re doing real-time seed treatment. Ideally, you want to handle the seed as few times as possible.

5. You don’t have to worry about your ability to deliver large orders. If you’re pretreating the seed, it’s likely being put back into mini bulks or bulk boxes versus going directly into a seed tender. Plus, the larger the order that you’re able to run, the more accurate the seed treatment application and the easier it is on equipment (less stopping and starting). More and more, customers are looking to increase their efficiency and don’t want to handle boxes and mini bulks.

Is your seed treatment process as efficient as it could be? Do you feel the need to pre treat to stay up with customer demands? Does it take a long time to treat 500 units?

Remember: With the technology available today, it’s possible to treat and deliver seed real time, in turn allowing you to increase your efficiency and accuracy. This also gives both you and your customer more flexibility in the decision-making process.

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