Seed treating units can pay off for some farmers

Heavy-duty disease pressure over the past few seasons has agronomy experts stressing the need for seed treatments.

Farmers who buy certified seed every year usually have the seed grower treat the seed. Those farmers may not need a seed treater.

But producers who keep and clean their own seed could likely save money by having their own seed-treating unit.

“Anybody that’s 1,000 acres or over I think you could probably justify $5,000 on a good quality treater,” said Brian Ellis of Graham Seed Treating Systems.

Graham offers seed treaters for small growers, mobile units, and custom systems for commercial facilities.

“The smallest we offer for a guy that’s maybe a hobby farmer, a step up from a dripper, is about $1,000,” Ellis said.

These more affordable treaters offered by Graham are upgradable and growers can add functionality and capacity later.

The G40 will treat 40 bushels per minute of wheat and 50 bushels per minute of barley, and can be mounted to the bottom of a hopper bin to treat delicate crops.

G40 packages come with an eight-inch transfer auger that has a three horsepower 230-volt electric motor, built-in seed flow control mechanism that regulates the grain flow to the treater and reverse capability.

Seed-treatment can be transferred directly from bulk drums or totes with the G40, which is fit with either a 120 or 240 litre tank, and has an optional double shoot insert that allows two separate product application without tank mixing products.

“A typical package is set up for the application of a single product at one time. Most products can be tank mixed if the customers want to add a nutrient, for example, to a seed treatment. Those products can be blended together and applied through the same nozzle. If they prefer to keep those products separate, we do have a double shoot addition, so we can apply two products sequentially through separate nozzles,” Ellis said.

A G40 package sells for about $8,000, while a G3 package sells for $5,000-$7,000, Ellis said.

“The nice thing about the G40s and G3s is the actual applicators themselves we can pigeon hole into just about any situation.

“Then after that, it’s just a matter of marrying up the handling equipment that we need to get the seed to the treater, then away from the treater,” Ellis said.

“We’ve done some plants where we’ve doubled up G40s, and those guys are treating in that 90 to 100 bushel a minute range.”

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