Why is the stated application rate "about" 4 ounces per unit of seed?

The actual amount of Dry Seed Treat required depends on a few factors, including the size of your seed, the type of planter and weather conditions like humidity. Four ounces is typically enough to treat medium to large seeds, but more product is required for smaller seeds because there is more seed surface area in a unit. We recommend that you start with 4 ounces per unit and adjust the rate as needed. Some people tell us that they have excess Dry Seed Treat in the planter at this rate, so they drop to 3 ounces per unit and get along fine. Others tell us that they need to use 5 ounces per unit to get good coverage of the seed and lubricate their planter.

Can I get higher yields by using more Dry Seed Treat per unit?

No, enzymes initiate the germination process through their presence on the seed. As long as you use enough product to cover some of the seed coat, enough of the enzymes will be present to boost the germination process and enhance early season crop growth. For this reason, enzyme-based seed treatments are very economical and reliable. At the recommended rate for Dry Seed Treat, the talc carrier will adhere to the seed coat, but you should not have much excess seed treatment left over. If the seeds are adequately covered and you still notice excess amounts of Dry Seed Treat in your planter box, then you should slightly reduce the application rate.

Can I buy the Chandler Dry Seed Treat in liquid form?

Yes, we also sell a liquid enzyme seed treatment, and its formulation and benefits are identical to Dry Seed Treat (without the talc carrier). Although the per-acre cost of Chandler Liquid Seed Treat is a bit lower than the dry version of the product, we generally recommend that you use the liquid product only if you have specialized seed treating equipment that can apply liquids. For this reason, almost all of our customers buy Chandler Dry Seed Treat.

What if I put the liquid seed treatment in my starter fertilizer?

If your planter places liquid starter fertilizer in the row, you could mix the liquid seed treatment in your starter fertilizer and get some of the product on each of the seeds in the row. However, this approach would also treat all of the row space between seeds, so it requires a lot more product than just treating the seeds. While you might save some time by mixing liquid seed treatment with the starter fertilizer, it will be much more expensive than just treating the seeds.

How do I apply Dry Seed Treat to the seed?

Most of our customers apply the product when they fill their planter boxes. To get the most benefit of the product, you should try to get some Dry Seed Treat on as many of the seeds as possible. Some farmers use their hand or a stir to mix the product with the seed, and others prefer to use an auger on a battery pack drill. We have some of these augers available for sale at cost if you are interested.

What if I use bulk seed boxes or a seed tender?

For bulk boxes, most people mix the Dry Seed Treat in the box with a long stir or auger before they go to the field. If the bulk box holds 50 units of seed, then you should mix 12.5 pounds of Dry Seed Treat (5/6 of a 15 pound bucket) into the box. Some seed tenders have a place to add seed treatments on the intake auger, but most people just pour the Dry Seed Treat into the planter hopper while filling it from the seed tender.

Can I apply Chandler Dry Seed Treat to the seed before I go to the field?

Yes, you can treat seed in bags, bulk seed boxes or seed tenders well before planting time. The treated seed will not germinate or rot in the bag or the bulk container as long as you keep it dry.

What is the effective shelf-life of Chandler Dry Seed Treat? Can I use product that I bought a few years ago?

Dry Seed Treat will keep for at least two to three years as long as the bucket lid is tight and you store the bucket in a location that is not too hot or humid. The dry product can freeze, but extreme heat or excessive moisture will quickly degrade the effectiveness of Dry Seed Treat.

Can I really use Chandler Dry Seed Treat in place of talc or graphite?

Yes, the carrier for Dry Seed Treat is the same grade of talc used for lubricating most planters. If you have an air or vacuum planter, you can use Dry Seed Treat in place of talc for about the same cost and also enjoy all of the product benefits. If your planter has a finger mechanism, you can typically use Dry Seed Treat and reduce the amount of graphite. However, this depends on the age and condition of the finger mechanism on your planter — some users report that they do not need graphite at all, and others tell us that they only reduce the graphite by 25% to 50%.

Can I use Dry Seed Treat with insecticides, fungicides or other treatments?

Yes, Dry Seed Treat is non-toxic and will not hamper the performance of other seed treatments. We do recommend that you apply the other treatments to the seed first and then put the Dry Seed Treat on last. Even if the seed is already treated with other liquid or dry products, the talc carrier for Dry Seed Treat should adhere to the seed coat and perform as expected.

How does plant sugar deter insects?

The only insect that can tolerate high plant sugar (above 10 brix or percent) is a grasshopper – all other insects cannot expel the gas created from digested sugars, and they would die if they consumed a lot of sugar. As a natural defense, these insects can sense plants with high sugar content, and they instinctively avoid them and attack weaker plants with lower plant sugar that can be digested. If you can get enough nutrients into the plant to produce 10 brix or more of sugar content, the plants will be safe from most insects.

How do you measure plant sugar?

We use a refractometer to measure plant sugar. To take the measurement, we cut open the plant near the base of the stalk or near the ear and squeeze some sap from the plant tissue on the refractometer lens. The meter measures the angle at which light bends (or refracts) as it passes through the sap, and this angle depends on the amount of sugar in the sap. Then, the meter converts this reading into a measurement of the brix or percent of sugar content in the plant. Digital or electronic refractometers are very easy to use, but we still prefer the older handheld refractometers because they stand up very well under field conditions. For the past several years, we have used the handheld refractometers sold by Spectrum Technologies, Inc.

For More Information

For more information on Chandler Dry Seed Treat, call (309) 659-7773 or e-mail info@midwestbioman.com.