Milestone in Chemical Free Seed Disinfection


The active steam treatment of the MultiCoater CM HySeed bio effectively eliminates a broad spectrum of seed pathogens without the use of chemicals. In addition to the relevant laboratory results, the effectiveness has now also been proven by the Plant Protection Service of the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture. Testing was carried out according to the generally accepted rules for the testing of crop protection products.

Agriculture relies on secured yields. For this reason, seeds are traditionally chemically treated to protect them from pathogens adhering to the seeds and occurring in the soil. This secures revenues for the producers as well as prices for the consumers. However, some of the active ingredients are no longer fully available. To compound matters, many chemical registrations are expiring and few new actives have been registered.  Other issues include regulatory limitation of dosing rates leading to ineffectiveness, and the fact the much of the popular thought seems to reject the use of chemical seed enhancement.

"As a leading manufacturer of conventional seed dressing products, we are committed to providing our customers with an effective alternative to chemical treatment of seeds," said Mark Scholze (CEO, PETKUS) more than eight years ago. This was the starting point for the development of the MultiCoater CM HySeed bio technology at Röber Institut GmbH. The newly developed technology combines PETKUS 'many years of experience in the area of ​​machine development with agricultural science and microbiological know-how. This is how a new, universally applicable seed treatment technology based on active steam treatment was created.

“So far we have been able to eliminate almost all seed pathogens with a very high level of efficiency. Extensive laboratory analyses have proven this fact, ” says Dr. Doreen  Thoren (agricultural scientist and project manager, Röber Institut GmbH). When carrying out the process, it is important to have the exact settings for the temperatures, exposure times, and the optimum drying settings in order to stop the infection with pinpoint accuracy and avoid negative influence on the germination capacity. “Thanks to the gentle seed treatment and the efficient elimination of the seed pathogens, we can reliably increase germination and emerging power of seeds,” says Dr. Ineke Wijkamp (microbiologist, PETKUS Selecta ).

In addition to the extensive laboratory analyses in external laboratories, the success of the treatment was also verified by the Plant Protection Service of the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture. The review was carried out according to the generally accepted rules for the testing of plant protection products. This lifts the innovation to a completely new level. The HySeed bio treatment was compared with the seed dressing product Vibrance Trio. The effectiveness of the HySeed bio treatment on the seed-borne Fusarium culmorum and snow mold on wheat has been examined. In addition to the chemical treatment and the HySeed bio steam treatment, the untreated control was also tested for comparison. The treated and untreated seeds were planted in the greenhouse and grown under cool conditions. The total test duration for the snow mold test was 56 days and 33 days for the Fusarium culmorum test. The greenhouse experiment was repeated four times. 

The HySeed bio treatment demonstrates similar effectiveness compared to the chemical treatment with Vibrance Trio. The benefits of the HySeed bio technology become even more clear compared to the number of healthy plants on the untreated plots (control). The active steam treatment results in clean and healthy seeds ensuring proper seedlings emergence. Effective control of the seed-borne pathogens is a basic requirement for healthy seeds and increasing crop yields. 

 “Even with maize under high infection pressure of Fusarium species, we have clearly demonstrated that in comparison to chemical seed dressing (with Maxim XL), we were able to achieve not only similar, but even better reductions in seed pathogens. Now we also have reliable data on wheat,” says Dr. Doreen Thoren.

The MultiCoater CM HySeed bio technology offers the possibility of carrying out additional applications. These can be different, for example, micronutrients, biostimulators, beneficial microorganisms with antifungal properties, but also chemicals (with lower dose rates) which can be applied to the seeds.

"The newly developed technology is of great interest to the seed production. We are certain that our unique solution offers many advantages to the environment and agriculture. Above all it is opening up excellent prospects for the seed industry,” says Dr. Khaled Raed (CIO, PETKUS).