14 November 1997

Mobile cleaners better deal?

MOBILE seed cleaning contractors are fast becoming capable of offering a better seed treatment service to farmers than the established seed trade.

That is the view of ReSo Seeds director, Dick Bowler, who is also chairman of the seed cleaning contractors group within the National Association of Agricultural Contractors.

The ability to grade seed aggressively, produce it on demand and match the growers treatment needs precisely means mobile operators can offer growers an increasingly flexible service, says Mr Bowler.

The latest mobile applicators let operators handle any type and combination of seed treatments, he claims. "This is likely to become an area of increasing complexity. Growers can already choose between a number of different fungicides, and the increasing use of manganese seed treatments, plus the likely introduction of more sophisticated insecticides will further complicate dressing programmes."

ReSo Seeds can already treat seed with as many as four or five different treatments, he notes. Other applicators have been developed to cope with even more.

Merchants may be able to offer the same scope of service, but prefer long and uncomplicated runs through high capacity plant to produce certified seed, he notes.

Comprehensive seed sampling and testing is also available through mobile operators, Mr Bowler adds. That includes grain purity, germination, glucosinolates in the case of oilseed rape, and seed-borne disease infection – on wheat and beans, for example. &#42