Enzyme Treatment Enhances Germination of All Seeds

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Untreated corn (left) and treated corn (right)

Dry Seed Treat

A talc-based enzyme seed treatment applied directly to any seed at planting time or to plant roots when transplanted. Dry Seed Treat enhances germination, root development, and nutrient uptake to promote higher crop yields and test weight. Due to the larger root system, plants treated with Dry Seed Treat also tend to have higher sugar content and are less susceptible to drought, insects, and diseases like Goss's wilt. The talc carrier helps the treatment to easily adhere to the seed coat and also provides lubrication for finger and air planter mechanisms. Dry Seed Treat is non-toxic when used as recommended and may be combined with insecticides, fungicides, and other seed treatments.

Product Ingredients

Chandler Dry Seed Treat is unique among seed treatments because it is one of the few products that is all natural and completely non-toxic, and the main active ingredients are enzymes rather than live bacteria cultures or innoculants. We only require a small amount of an enzyme to initiate the germination process and achieve the stated product benefits, and enzymes are less sensitive to soil pH and other environmental conditions. So, enzyme-based seed treatments tend to have lower cost and work more consistently than other types of biological seed treatments. There are other ingredients embedded on the talc carrier along with the enzymes, and these compounds are intended to support early plant growth and feed the beneficial soil microbes that help to build the root system. These ingredients include:
  • Amino acids and B-complex vitamins
  • Trace amounts of several micronutrients, including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, cobalt, iron, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc
Untreated corn (left) and treated corn (right)
Untreated wheat (left) and treated wheat (right)
Treated soybeans

Main Benefits

  • 1-2 days faster emergence with up to 10 degrees frost tolerance
  • Higher germination rate, so you can reduce seed costs
  • Deeper root systems with more tap and feeder roots to reduce lodging and increase nutrient and water uptake
  • More tillers in wheat and other small grains
  • More nodules in soybeans and other legumes
  • 30-40 percent more plant sugar to build yields and deter insects
  • Better tolerance of plant stress due to extreme temperatures, drought, or diseases such as blight or Goss's wilt
  • Nodal filters in the stalk remain open and allow more water and nutrients to move within the plant
  • Quicker dry-down at harvest
Average On-Farm Yield Results, 2011 and 2012
Normal moisture
Drought conditions
6.5 BPA
40 BPA
15 BPA

For more information, please refer to the following publications:
Dry Seed Treat product brochure
Benefits of early root growth
Combined effects of the crop products
The recommended application rate for Dry Seed Treat is about 4 ounces per unit of most medium to large seeds (corn, soybeans, or wheat) and 8 ounces per unit of smaller seeds (alfalfa or grass). In the table below, the typical range of population or seeding rates for each crop is stated, and the range of per-acre costs for these seeding rates are based on purchases of single 15# buckets at our regular retail price. These costs will be lower if you buy in larger volumes or order under our early-season discount programs in the fall (September and October) or winter (December through March). Also, many seed companies now define their units by seed count rather than by weight, so we provide details about the conversion from weight to seed count for each crop.
Population or Seeding Rate
Cost per acre
Specific Benefits
Corn (all types)
24,000 to 32,000 seeds per acre
$0.80 to $1.05
1,000 to 2,000 more plants per acre, more feeder roots, average yield increase is 6-7 BPA in on-farm side-by-side trials
Each bag or unit is assumed to contain 80,000 seeds, and a unit will plant about 2.5 acres of corn at the 32,000 population rate. One 15# bucket of Dry Seed Treat will treat 60 units at a rate of 4 ounces per unit, so a bucket will treat enough seed for 150 acres of corn.
80,000 to 160,000 seeds per acre
$2.00 to $2.65
30 percent more nodules per stalk, more pods per plant, more beans per pod, average yield increase is 3-4 BPA in on-farm side-by-side trials
Most seed companies used to sell soybean seed by weight in 50 pound bags with 2,400 to 3,200 seeds per pound, but many of them now sell seed by count with 140,000 seeds per unit. We still recommend about 4 ounces of Dry Seed Treat per unit of seed. One 15# bucket of Dry Seed Treat will treat 60 units (4 ounces per unit), so a bucket will treat enough seed for 60 acres of soybeans at a planted population of 140,000 seeds per acre.
Wheat, oats, rye, and other small grains
60 to 120 pounds per acre
$2.00 to $5.30
Less winter kill, faster spring emergence, more tillers per crown
At the recommended application rate of 4 ounces per 60 pounds of seed, one 15# bucket of Dry Seed Treat will treat 3,600 pounds of seed. For example, if wheat is seeded at 90 pounds per acre, a bucket purchased under our early September or December discount will treat enough seed for 40 acres of wheat at a cost of $3.50 per acre.
Alfalfa; grass; cover crops; and any other legume, forage, or hay crop with small seeds
5 to 30 pounds per acre
$0.40 to $3.20
Higher germination rates allow you to sow less seed and reduce cost, deeper roots increase plant sugar and nutrient content, higher tonnage
At the recommended application rate of 8 ounces per 50 pounds of seed, one 15# bucket of Dry Seed Treat will treat 1,500 pounds of seed. For example, if alfalfa is seeded at 15 pounds per acre, a bucket will treat enough seed for 100 acres of alfalfa at a cost of $1.40 per acre under our early September or December discount prices. Please note that some cover crops like Austrian winter peas are seeded at much higher rates (e.g., 75 to 100 pounds per acre), so the treatment cost will be proportionally higher.
Dry Seed Treat may be used on any seed, and it may also be sprinkled on the roots of any plant or tree that is being transplanted to another location (for example, tomato plants). Please contact us if you have questions about using Dry Seed Treat on other crops that are not listed above.

Frequently Asked Questions

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, there will be enough of the enzymes 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 seed treatment 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 fertilzer 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 augur on a battery pack drill. We have some of these augurs 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 augur 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 augur, but most people just pour the Dry Seed Treat into the planter hopper while filling it from the seed tender.
Can I apply 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 Dry Seed Treat? Can I use product that I bought a few years ago?
Dry Seed Treat will keep for at least 2-3 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 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 consume 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. There are digital or electronic refractometers that 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 hand-held refractometers sold by Spectrum Technologies, Inc. of Plainfield, IL.
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