There’s been a sea change in the planter box in the past decade. And that change is the rising use of seed treatments to provide that plant the right boost at germination. Compass Minerals provides a range of products to the seed market, and a new tool aims to boost performance of treated seed in the planter.
The company launched its initial Rocket Seed product line earlier in 2019, with tools that replace talc with a fluence product that also adds nutrients to the planter box. It’s an innovation that provides another boost — without adding another step at planting. The company’s latest innovation aims to make treated seed work better in the planter.
Rocket Seed Moly Shine is designed for soybeans and other legume crops. The aim is to provide a finer finish to seed as it leaves the treater. “This is important, because there are a lot of treatments going on seed at the retailer today,” says Ryan Bartlett, Compass Minerals vice president, innovation and product development. “There's a lot of product that goes into the [seed treatment] slurries as retailers get more tools. But one of the challenges is that with that heavy seed treatment, those seeds can get sticky, which can create bridging in the seedbox or planter.”
Working with retail partners, the company determined that a dry seed finisher might be an opportunity. “This would be used at the end of a seed treatment application to quickly dry down the seed and maintain fluence in the planter,” Bartlett says. “And it would give the seed a better aesthetic look. It is a polisher and shiner, and the bonus here is that we’re putting nutrition right on the seed."
More than a nice look
Eliminating the “stickiness” of retailer-treated seed is a benefit, but Moly Shine also contains patent-pending micronutrient products that Bartlett says are not available with other seed treatments and finishers.
He explains that the finisher has a 1-5-0 base nutrient makeup, but it also includes 1.5% iron, 3% manganese and 3% molybdenum. “These are core co-factors required for a symbiotic relationship with Bradyrhizobia for nodule production in the root,” he says. “We also have 10% zinc, which is extremely important early in the season to develop a vigorous root system and avoid early-season stress.”
That iron component is also on board to help treat early-season iron deficiency chlorosis. The molybdenum promotes early-season nitrogen uptake and nitrogen use efficiency, which can boost nodulation in soybeans.
The product is going to be available through national retailers and is good for any legume crop — from peas to lentils to soybeans. Growers interested in this seed finisher should reach out to their seed retailer and ask for the specific product.
Bartlett explains that in tests — even in the difficult 2019 season — the company saw a 4% yield increase across a range of crops with a 75% win rate in trials. You can learn more about the new product at rocketseedsnutrition.com.