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Exogenous materials are applied to the surface of seeds with the goal of improving seed appearance and handling characteristics (e.g., seed weight and size) and/or delivering active compounds (e.g., plant growth regulators, micronutrients, and microbial inoculants) that can protect the seed against phytopathogens and increase germination and plant growth. Seed coating, which was inspired by the pharmaceutical industry, was initially applied to cereal seeds in the 1930s, and its widespread commercial use began in the 1960s.
Seed coating techniques can range from basic on-farm treatments to complex and industrialized ones. Although the techniques utilized by farmers and industrial firms differ, the underlying concept is the same. It consists of seeds within a container (e.g., rotating drum, cement mixer) with a binder (e.g., adhesive compound), a filler (bulking agent) if necessary, and active components (e.g., nutrition, protectants, and PBM) mixed together. Seed dressing is the most basic coating treatment, and it refers to the application of finely milled particles dusted over the surface of seeds in minute amounts, and it is typically used for pesticide application.
The most recent methodologies adopted under agricultural coatings include usage of a fluidized or spouted bed, a cylindrical system in which seeds are maintained suspended by a continuous vertical/bottom-up heated airflow while being sprayed with coating chemicals, and can also be used for film coating and encrusting. Moisture evaporation is aided by the heated breeze. This is a time-consuming and costly operation. The rotary coater or rotor–stator is another device used for most seed coating types.
In the film coating process, seed coating polymers are utilized. A thin water permeable polymer-based coating layer is applied to the seed, seed coating, or pellet during the film coating process. Polymers come in a variety of colours, coverage characteristics, opacities, and finishes. Polymers have a longer shelf life due to less component settling and need less water, resulting in ease of handling and lower storage losses. Precision farming is becoming more popular in industrialized nations for more efficient use of the fertigation method, which includes the use of controlled-release fertilizers.
With the development of improved low-rate chemistry and genetic characteristics, conventional soil-applied pesticides have given way to seed-delivered treatments. Furthermore, the introduction of commercial seeds such as hybrid maize, rice, and cotton has promoted the commercial adoption of low seed rates, boosting the cost benefits of commercial seed augmentation technologies even further. The sort of seed augmentation technology employed is determined by crop type, soil type, regional economic growth, and seed value. As a result, there is a significant growth potential for seed customization, promoting the development of novel seed technologies.
Countries such as the United States, India, China, and Brazil are seeing an increase in the use of on-farm techniques to produce specialty seeds. These experts employ a variety of seed enhancement methods to improve seed quality and production, resulting in significant development prospects for seed coating material makers. As a result, increased adoption of commercial seed technology is expected to boost the growth of the seed coating materials market. Climate change has a significant impact on the agriculture business. It is beneficial in increasing productivity and avoiding illness and insect assaults.
The Global Agricultural Coatings Market can be segmented into following categories for further analysis.
The goal of current seed-coating technology is to evenly apply a diverse variety of active components (ingredients) onto agricultural seeds at specified doses, therefore facilitating sowing and improving crop performance. There are three primary types of seed treating/coating equipment: dry powder applicators, rotating pans, and pelleting pans, all of which may apply dry powders, liquids, or a mix of the two. Dry coating, seed dressing, film coating, encrustments, and seed pelleting are other words for coatings generated by this type of machinery. The seed weight increases for these various coating techniques range from 0.05 percent to >5000 percent (a 100-fold increase).
The Latest Technology has been the active components which are used with an objective to preserve and improve seed and seedling performance in terms of germination, growth, and development. The active ingredient’s method of action determines its function in protection and/or augmentation. Seed protectants are the most often utilised class of chemicals for managing diseases and pests during sowing.
Active components must be put to seeds so that they stick to the seeds throughout storage and until they are planted. Furthermore, pesticide-treated seeds must be easily identified as such. Colorants are often employed to show that seeds have been treated and account for around 60% of coating ingredient components; in the case of seed pelleting, colourants are applied at the conclusion of the coating process.
Dry powder application is a seed coating process in which seeds are mixed with a dry powder. This application method was previously known as “planter box” therapy. Dry powders, also known as dusts, are used for fungal or bacterial treatments that are then dried (hydration/dehydration), whereas seeds have a shorter shelf life following application. This technique may be used on-farm for the administration of labelled pest control products.
Industry invests much in research and development in the larger field of seed treatments, and most of this technology is private. Many biological seed treatments are being researched and commercialized for use as pesticides and bio stimulants. However, it is beyond the scope of this book to critically evaluate the qualities and efficacy of these biologicals, despite the fact that they are commercially employed.
Clariant Technologies has been involved in development of new colorant and enhanced technology-based seed treatment requirements. These seed colorants are available in pre-dispersed granulated pigments with a very small particle size making them easy to disperse in cold water. The new pre-dispersed granules flow like liquid, can be metered and are suitable for applications where a dust-free dry stir in process is needed. The new granulated formula requires minimal storage space.
Agrocer pigment preparations are Agrocer pigment-based aqueous dispersions. Agrocer pigment preparations provide agrochemical, seed, and seed treatment firms searching for safe, regulatory-compliant solutions for eye-catching, high-value goods faster and more cost-effectively than powdered colours.
Germains Seed Technologies is independently based in development of specified plant and organic specific coating technologies. The Technology is focused on provisioning a thin water permeable polymer-based coating layer is applied to the seed, seed coating, or pellet during the film coating process. Polymers come in a variety of colours, coverage characteristics, opacities, and finishes including matt, gloss, and sparkle.
The Spectrum includes itself as a seed coating polymer ranges include aqueous premixes of polymer-binder, opacifier, and dispersed pigment colour. The polymers are designed to offer rapid and easy clean down between uses, therefore minimizing the impact on logistics of production.
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