Why Plant Coated Alfalfa Seed?
Alforex Seeds receives many questions from alfalfa growers about the differences and benefits of coated vs raw seed. We would like to address some of these questions so that you can make a more informed decision on coating and seed treatments. We are committed to providing our customers with seed treatments that will enhance germination, promote rapid seedling growth, and a vigorous start. As a result of seed coating, these thick and healthy stands offer higher yield potential throughout the life of the crop.
High quality seed coatings have shown benefits during stand establishment in years of public and private research and millions of planted on-farm acres. Because of these benefits seed coatings help more of the seed you plant become healthy seedlings and mature productive plants.
Seed coatings are mixtures of minerals, hygroscopic compounds, micro-nutrients, Rhizobia bacteria, fungicides and special binders that cover the alfalfa seed. The seed coating increases the weight of the alfalfa seed by 34% and reduces the number of seeds per pound by approximately one third. In the field, coated seed increases the number of seedlings that survive by 50% or more versus pre inoculated seed. Coated seed delivers equal or more plants per square foot ten weeks after planting raw or pre inoculated seed.
Benefits of coated seed
- Put rhizobia bacteria (inoculum) on the seed so the plants have large amounts of inoculum available for quick root nodulation.
- Provide a micro-environment for quick growth of the rhizobia by putting calcium carbonate and other growth promoting materials in the coating.
- Increases yield by assisting with quick root nodulation and providing specific strains of Rhizobium for maximum efficiency.
- Protects inoculum from damage by fertilizer salts for short periods of time in order to mix seed and fertilizer and broadcast them together.
- Coated seed flows through the seeder easier therefore, seeders should be calibrated when using coated seed.
- Apron and/or Stamina, a fungicide, can be included in the coating process and will help in seedling disease control including Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Phytophthora Root Rot, multiple races of Aphanomyces Root Rot, Fusarium, Systemic Downey Mildew, and more.
- The coating helps absorb moisture more evenly into the seed allowing more plants to germinate which produces more plants per square foot. As a result, seed coating adds staying power when seed placement, seedbed and weather conditions aren’t ideal.
- Coating material costs less than raw seed. This gives alfalfa growers the benefit of lower planting costs per acre when using coated seed.
What We Offer
Alforex Seeds works with industry leading providers to apply a 34% by weight coating to alfalfa, clover, and teff grass seed. Minerals, hygroscopic compounds, micro-nutrients, ample rhizobia, and special binders make up the coating material. All contribute to healthy stands and high yield potential.
Alforex Seeds, through Corteva Agriscience research, is able to offer the LumiGen™ Seed Treatment Promise.
The LumiGEN™ seed treatments mark of assurance means you get seed treatments…
Designed for our genetics – We select the best treatments for our genetics
Verified on our genetics – We know seed – 90+ years in seed, 6 step verification process – PASSER
Proven in the field with our genetics – We test in real fields/on real farms
Plantability – Maximizing seed flow and planting precision
Application – Refining processes to work across seed properties (size shape, hybrid/variety) and environmental conditions
Seed Safety – Ensure treatments don’t adversely affect seed germination
Stewardship – Minimizing potential adverse effects on people and the environment
Efficacy – Evaluating protection performance and vigor, even in challenging environments
Regulatory – Meeting regulations and guidelines
The Primary Seed Treatments Alforex Seeds Applies to its Alfalfa Products
Apron XL/Allegience Fungicide – These fungicides contain metalaxyl. This compound provides germinating alfalfa seed and alfalfa seedlings with protection against; Pythium, Phytophthora root rot, damping off, seed rot, and systemic downy mildew.
Stamina® Fungicide – Stamina contains F500 fungicide, the same active ingredient as the Headline fungicide. This fungicide inhibits fungal respiration, depriving the pathogen of energy for growth and development. As a broad spectrum seed-applied fungicide, Stamina provides suppression of Rhizoctonia, Fusarium, Phytophthora root rot and Aphanomyces root rot. As a result, when Stamina is combined with Apron or Allegience we have seen an average of +0.2 tons per acre increase in yield the seedling year.
alphajoule™ Biostimulant – alphajoule is a seed-applied non-GMO bacteria biostimulant for alfalfa. Developed by Agrovive™ scientists, alphajoule increases alfalfa yield and harvest flexibility while maintaining high forage quality.
Seeding Rates and Planter Calibration
Public and private research show that coated seed should be planted at the same pounds/acre rate as uncoated seed. Planting 34% coated seed can result in about 30% fewer seeds planted per acre. However, seed coating greatly improves the survivability of seed and therefore makes up for the reduction of actual seed planted. In other words it is not how many seeds are planted, but how many seedlings become established. Thus, seed coating helps seedlings take off and grow during the first few weeks after germination.
Seed coated at 34% weighs more than uncoated seed. Because of its weight, coated seed will flow through planting equipment at a different rate than uncoated seed. In fact some research trials have shown that coated seed actually flows at about 30% faster than uncoated seed. While the size of coated seed is slightly larger than pre inoculated seed, the improved flowability of coated seed usually maintains a more consistent pounds of seed planted per acre. Alfalfa growers should carefully calibrate planters for the specific seed they are planting to help ensure they are planting the at the rate planned for. Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual before performing any maintenance.
To find out more about seed coating for alfalfa watch “Coated vs Uncoated Seed”.
If you have more questions about seed coating contact the Alforex Seed District Sales Manager near you.
Components of LumiGEN® seed treatments are applied at a Corteva Agriscience production facility, or by an independent sales representative of Corteva Agriscience or its affiliates. Not all sales representatives offer treatment services, and costs and other charges may vary. See your sales representative for details. Seed applied technologies exclusive to Corteva Agriscience and its affiliates.
Apron XL® is a registered trademark of Syngenta., Allegience™ is a trademark of Bayer Cropscience. Stamina® is a registered trademark of BASF. alphajoule™ is a trademark of Agrovive Biologics.