Seed treating is easy with a new on-farm seed treater developed by ex seed salesman Ron Barnes, Elkhorn, Neb.
The new seed treater eliminates "in the box" mixing which he says is both difficult and inefficient. "One of my customers told me he's tired of using his cement mixer to treat seed," says Barns. His seed treater applies liquid or dry fungicides, insecticides or inoculants directly to seed at planting. Seed is dumped in the hopper, which holds 100 to 120 lbs. of seed or about two bags of seed (he's developing a 50-bag model). Chemical and seed are mixed in the bottom of the chamber as they're augered out to the planter or drill by the nylon bristle auger. Volume of seed flow is regulated by a flow control mechanism located in the hopper box. A calibrating valve controls the chemical flow. A 12-volt DC solenoid automatically starts and stops the flow of treatment during the treating process. The pickup or tractor battery provides the power.
The seed treater slides back and forth on a roller track system that mounts along the side of a pickup box or on the side of a pull-behind trailer. "One of the things farmers really like about this seed treater is that it makes filling planter boxes easier. It lets you handle the bags in the back of the pickup and control the auger from there to fill boxes," says Barnes, noting that the fill auger can be rotated 360 degrees.
The strongest interest for the seed treater comes from farmers who plant bin-run soybeans. "It makes it possible to get the best stands and yields from bin run seed and applies chemicals uniformly so that all seed is treated," says Barnes.
The bristle auger used in the treater is designed to minimize damage. "We've passed seed through the auger as many as 15 times with no damage at all. It works so well Pioneer has recommended the treater to their seed dealers and it's easy to work on if anything should ever need repair," says Barnes.