44 / SEEDWORLD.COM JUNE 2018 INSIDERS ADVICE FROM INDUSTRY EXPERTS Bringing Unique Benefits to the Marketplace BIOLOGICAL PRODUCTS offer unique benefits all along the food chain and pro- vide advantages for growers, seed com- panies, dealers, consultants and retailers. Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM) has been in the business of “biologicals” since 2001, specifically microbial biologicals. We fully know and understand the advantages biologicals bring to the market. Biological technologies have been developed over the years and give grow- ers more targeted and effective options for crop production. Best management practices and a strong emphasis on envi- ronmental stewardship are major factors in commercial farming operations and the supporting network. Top producers not only maximize their returns but they also consider being good stewards of the land an important role. Biologicals typically provide both of these benefits. There is little to no toxicity when using them, and they often enhance soil health. Our experience and expertise have led us to make some observations when it comes to providing a beneficial microbial product. If our microbial biologicals are to be successful, we know: • They must be reliably effective in accomplishing the goal for which they are developed or sold. • They must give a consistent high return on investment to growers or provide other quantifiable advantages. • They must be formulated into products that are easy to use. • Products usually must have a reason- able shelf life. Another very important point is that the plant benefits are strictly strain dependent. Just because one strain in a specific Trichoderma or Bacillus strain is effective is no indication that other strains in the same species will be effective. Only a few, highly selected strains are effec- tive and useful. An important capability we apply is the use of defined synergistic strains to accomplish various goals in plant performance improvement. These benefits range from disease control to abiotic stress resistance to yield enhancement. DAN CUSTIS, ABM CEO AND CO-FOUNDER @dbcustis • firstname.lastname@example.org • abm1st.com AS FARMS INCREASE in size and complexity, so does their ability to verti- cally integrate, and for some, this might mean treating seed on farm. Without doing much research this might seem like a worthwhile investment, but there are six key reasons why farmers should leave the application of seed treat- ments to seed retailers and distributors. Access to advanced seed treatment technology. Farmers might have difficulty acquiring the most recent seed treatment formulas and technologies. One example is Monsanto’s NemaStrike technology. It was released and then got pulled because of reported rashes. Now this formulation can only be applied in closed systems, ensuring that no one touches it and limiting it to professional treaters. Access to the latest equipment appli- cation techniques. The equipment sold to those who wish to treat on farm is not the newest. Farmers who do this sacrifice automation and accuracy. Access to customer service. For most, planting season is already a stressful time of the year. If anything would go wrong in the seed treatment process, either an equipment breakdown or faulty applica- tion, who will be there to troubleshoot or make good? That, too, would now be in the hands of the farmer. Disposal of leftover seed treatment chemicals. Many seed retailers do enough volume that leftovers can be returned to the point of purchase; however, farmers would not have the volumes needed to afford this service aspect. 6 Reasons Why Farmers Should Avoid Treating Seed In-house JASON KAEB KSI CONVEYORS DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT @jasonkaeb_ksi • JasonKaeb@ksiconveyors.com • KSiConveyors.com Seed handling equipment. Most on- farm equipment is designed for handling grain, not seed. Without special seed handling equipment, farmers increase risk of damaging the seed. This could result in a lower germination rate, and ultimately a lower yield. Stewardship. The industry has put in place best seed treatment practices to ensure proper stewardship. This means increased documentation, minimizing dust-off and increasing safety to both humans and the environment. Remember: If you use the most advanced seed treatment equipment and demonstrate the benefits, farmers will see the value. You must first provide a good product, and you must be able to articulate those benefits.