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Written by Brian Talamantes   

Emerging new use for seed coats

Emerging research from the U.S. Department of Ag Agricultural Research Service suggests that using seed coats in the most literal sense of the word—to keep seeds warm and dry as an actual coat—may be beneficial in early planting and no-till situations.

ARS physiologist Russ Gesch and colleagues have been looking at protective polymer seed coatings on corn and soybeans for a few years. The idea behind it is to essentially lengthen the planting season by making the seeds more resistant to the colder, wetter soil conditions early in the season.

Uncoated seeds in those conditions are susceptible to rot, poor emergence and cold snaps, but these researchers have found that they were able to achieve much improved emergence and establishment with coated seeds versus uncoated planted at the same early planting date.

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Holyoke Enterprise April 24, 2014