Spencer, IA: (Mar. 13, 2014) – New research at USDA shows that a thin polymer layer applied to seeds could help farmers in northern areas optimize spring planting schedules.
USDA Ag Research Service Plant Physiologist Russ Gesch found that seeds coated in a temperature-activated polymer that prevented water from reaching the seed until the soils were warm enough for germination had a significantly greater level of emergence than uncoated seeds planted at the same time.
But, the field studies also found that the coated seeds, planted in late spring had slower emergence rates than the uncoated seeds.
Gesch says the findings show that farmers could use coated seeds to get a jump-start on their spring planting.