Focus on Efficiency

- Jason Kaeb

In today’s agricultural landscape, convenience and ease of use are more important than ever. Bulk bins and on-site seed treatment can deliver this value — saving time, preventing waste and automating recordkeeping.

Having the ability to store and treat seed on site has become the norm in the downstream market. On-site storage and treating help alleviate some of the worries that come with planting, such as not having the right seed when it’s time to hit the field. No one wants to wait weeks, or even days, before it goes in the ground. Bulk bins and downstream treating systems increase speed and efficiency for both seed dealers and growers.

There are also mini-bulk capabilities for those who do not need as much of a specific variety. Mini-bulk allows producers to supplement their bulk storage with smaller quantities of certain varieties that can meet the specific needs of some customers.

When it comes to treating seed, many producers are reluctant to treat too much supply ahead of time, because it can be hard to dispose of leftover treated seed. For example, some areas might receive too much rain and then the planting process can be delayed, a field might have to be switched to a different crop, or planting could be completely set aside. Having the ability to treat downstream and just-in-time allows for less waste on expensive products.

Another huge efficiency factor in the industry today is automation — we’ve come a long way from using the augers, shovels and manual labor of yesteryear. Automation integrates the entire process into a single point of control for smooth seed flow and better overall control of the process. This has become the heart and soul of bulk seed systems. We are able to completely automate seed flow, treatment and storage or packaging.

When combined, these systems provide proper recordkeeping, which is essential in knowing how much seed was treated, from what lot, and to whom it was sold. Over the years, this information can easily become convoluted, especially as dealers add more growers to their customer list. All this data can easily be kept, stored and sorted with advanced data management and reporting tools.

Remember: Bulk and mini-bulk sites add convenience for both seed dealers and growers, while automation brings data management to the forefront and is critical in helping maintain proper records.