Agronomy •  2023-02-08

How Corteva develops seed treatments for your best start

Something went wrong. Please try again later...

LumiGEN logoWhen choosing a seed treatment package, the goal is simple: to try and get your crop off to the best start possible.

However, growers may not realize just how much research, development and testing Corteva Agriscience™ puts into its LumiGEN™ seed treatments to help you achieve that goal.

Here’s a brief explanation of how our industry leading seed treatments, that come with all Pioneer® brand seed, get developed: 

Evaluating the needs of growers

When developing a new seed treatment, we always ask, “What are the needs of our growers? What are they struggling with? We start with a screening program where we’re evaluating everything we have internally and what’s out there in the industry to ensure we’re putting the best technology in our seed treatments. 

Adding in our ingredients

To use a simple recipe analogy, we start with our ingredients. But, instead of things like sugar, flour and vanilla, we’re adding insecticide, fungicide, etc. And, as you can imagine, it’s not as easy as just mixing everything together and adding more and more protection. Like baking, there’s a science to it.

We put all our seed treatments through our PASSER process (Plantability, Application, Seed Safety, Stewardship, Efficacy, Regulatory), a six-step evaluation that measures key performance and use factors. In any given year in our research facilities, we’ll make tens of thousands of observations on our seed treatments, starting with petri dish plates, to the greenhouse, to our small plots, and then ultimately, into the large-plot Canadian field trials.

PASSER diagram

Testing, testing and more testing

After we find the ingredients that provide the efficacy we want, we start putting the overall seed treatment recipe together in the lab. Then, once we've treated the seed, we want to see how it performs. How does the seed flow when wet and will it be easy for applicators to apply? Similarly, when the seed is dry, that flow will indicate how the treated seed will move through the planting equipment.  

We evaluate dust as well, to make sure that everything we put on the seed stays on the seed. One, because our growers pay for that and, secondly, because we want to minimize exposure to off target organisms. So, we'll put the treated seed through a simulated handling test to see how it stands up after being bagged, packaged and moved around as it travels all the way from the treating plant to the planter. 

Developing for your local area

Developing seed treatments for your local area starts in our application lab. We have an environmental chamber at our facility where we can simulate real field conditions. We can set the temperature at just above freezing and then take it up to 45°C, and then from a humidity standpoint, we can put it anywhere between 20 to 80%. This way, we can essentially be in Ontario or Saskatchewan at a flip of a switch.

As mentioned earlier, we also do a ton of small plot research and run hundreds of large-scale seed treatment trials across Canada. This ensures that before our seed treatments ever get into a bag of Pioneer seed, they’re designed and tested to maximize yield on your farm.