Gonzague de Gassart
Marketing Manager at Solvay Novecare Agro Seed Care
Encrusting is a sophisticated seed application technology where the seed is fully covered by a solid called ″filler″ co-applied with a liquid coating called ″binder″. The purpose of this method, compared to a standard seed coating, is to add an inert material to weigh down the seed. Once the seeds have more weight, the farmer achieves greater singularity when sowing, and therefore improved and more accurate plantability. Unlike seed pelleting, encrusting does not change the overall shape of the seeds.
Encrusting is primarily used for oilseed rape, sunflower and pasture to enable better plantability especially when it comes to precision planting. For instance, oilseed rape is a seed with a very low TKW1(on average 4 g). The encrusting technology will allow to increase the weight of the seed to obtain a more fluid flow and a better plantability. In the case of pasture, different varieties of seeds are typically mixed together, resulting in high variability in size or weight. In order to achieve better homogeneity, the encrusting technology will give seeds weight by making them heavier and larger in size.
The encrusting market
The film coating market is valued at USD 350 Million in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.4% until 2027. Seed coating process is the most utilized among the 3 different processes. The encrusting technology represents 27% of the uses on seeds.
The market trends are summarized in the table below:
Encrusting is applied on seeds through a rotary coater or a regular batch treater. This technology is available in several weight increase ranges, and color and shine finishes. Besides increasing weight and size of the seeds, it also adds value by reducing dust, increasing flowability, sowing ability and marketability. The addition of a large quantity of liquid during encrusting requires the coated seed to be dried right after the process back to its original seed moisture content, before packaging and storage. The weight increase after encrusting can range from 8 to 500%, depending on needs. This technology may impact germination rate, and encrusted seed requires more time to germinate as compared to seed coating when the percentage of weight increase is high.
Peridiam®: A Threefold Seed Coating Technology
Solvay's Peridiam® portfolio is composed primarily of five product lines: Peridiam® Active, Peridiam® Extra, Peridiam® Quality, Peridiam® Flexspace and Peridiam® Certop. During the last 35 years, this structure of seed coating technologies was strategically developed to meet a variety of needs with solutions tailored to different crops, climates, growing conditions and market needs. Each product in the Peridiam® portfolio is specifically designed to improve adhesion of seed treatments, provide better seed coverage and ensure all active compounds stay on the seed, resulting in strong, healthy plants and an enhanced crop yield.
Peridiam® Flexspace is an encrusting dedicated technology formulated to improve seed distribution and meet the highest standards for planting performances. The process can be performed in one cycle, in a normal batch treater followed by a short drying step. This range of products was developed on several crops such as oilseeds or pasture seeds.
As an example, for oilseed rape, Peridiam® Flexspace 210 offers as the following benefits to the end users:
1.The ability to reach a targeted TKW (Thousand Kernel Weight) up to 40% without affecting germination.
2.a narrower seed size distribution (Picture 1).
3.an improved plantability for precision sowing (Picture 2).
4.an excellent dust control.
5.a compatibility with all existing registered seed treatments.
6.a high flexibility to incorporate components of interest such as micronutrients, biologicals and other additives.
7.aesthetics and visuals of seeds (Picture 3).
Peridiam®, Covering seeds Today and Tomorrow:
The future steps will be to work with our customers on associating encrusting technology with biosolution as the market is growing in this area. Also, at European level, we are working on a new microplastic free solution which will enrich our existing microplastic-free seed care portfolio, coming soon…
1 TKW: Thousand Kernel Weight
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