Pelleting: How to Increase Efficiency and Capacity by 800%
From vegetable and sugar beet seed to grass and tree seed, there is a growing interest in pelleting, which improves seed size, shape and uniformity. I’ve even noticed an increasing trend for pelleting canola and sunflower seed.
The benefits of using pelleted seed are many, including optimally-spaced, uniform plant stands, especially with the use of precision planters, and a larger surface area to apply nutrition and protection products, thus increasing the seed’s value. Additionally, when precision planting pelleted seed, the number of seeds required per acre is often reduced by 50 to 80 percent. When pelleting seed, there are a number of important advantages to using a rotostat seed treater (also known as a batch seed treater) over other types of treaters.
Quality control is a critical element to treating seed. You want to deliver the same high-quality pelleted seed every year, every batch and every seed lot, all year long. A rotostat seed treater’s PLC-based, closed system provides precise dosing rates and correct applications in every batch; thus, the consumer’s investment ends up on the seed.
This rotostat treater also improves quality control over other types of seed treaters, such as the drum treater, because the recipes and methods are contained within and carried out by the equipment, and not by an operator. Not only does this mean all batches have the same quality, but a company is not dependent on a specific operator to maintain quality and skills. Furthermore, reports and statistics are easily accessible and supervised.
The rotostat’s closed system also provides a huge advantage when it comes to an operator’s working environment. The closed powder feeder and dosing system for liquids as well as the treater’s automated cleaning process, which rinses all equipment and hoses, ensures operators don’t handle toxic materials. Pelleting with a rotostat eliminates the dust issues associated with drum pelleting, where operators are often exposed to the products they are applying.
Improved efficiencies of a rotostat treater include shortened processing times — it can take anywhere from 40 minutes to four hours to produce a batch of pellets with a drum treater, whereas it takes the same procedure five to 10 minutes with a rotostat treater. In addition, the wet sieving process is eliminated. Given these efficiencies, a rotostat treater pays for itself in no time, and its sophisticated technology will also lower your labor costs.