Categories: Articles, SeedPublished On: 22nd March 2023

AGT Foods Africa improve cover crop yields with AgriCOTE

By 3 min read

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This batch of coated lucerne is in the process of drying.

AgriCOTE, a product offered by AGT Foods Africa, has revolutionised the way farmers plant their seed. The product protects the seed against soil and seed borne pathogens as well as helping it turn into a strong seedling.

AGT Foods started as Advance Seed in 2006 with the AgriCOTE technology that was brought over from Australia. Since then, the technology has been adapted to meet the needs of African conditions. This involves over 25 years of research to ensure the optimal product is produced for every type of grass seeds.

“AgriCOTE is a seed build-up that is mainly produced for the seeds of cover crops and grasses,” explains Arno Gronum, Seed Coating Manager at AGT Foods Africa. “We developed this coating to improve the seed-to-soil contact farmers will have during planting.”

The crop types include forage for cattle and sheep such as the Smuts finger- or Rhodes grass. AGT Foods Africa also produces blends of coated seed. Their aim is to provide farmers with an extensive range of cover crops.

Here is a collection of some of the seeds that AGT Foods Africa coat. Each seed differs in size, shape and texture. AgriCOTE is coated on all of them. From left to right is Blue buffalo grass, Wool grass, Rhodes grass, and Smuts finger grass.

AgriCOTE protects and boosts seeds

The AgriCOTE formula consists growth stimulants, nutrients, broad spectrum fungicide and insecticide and materials to bind it all together and stick to the individual seeds. This gives every little seed the most important things it needs to give it the best chance at survival. The coating also differs slightly in ratio depending on the type of seed that is being coated.

“We add the different ingredients layer by layer to the seeds,” Arno explains. “This is a good investment because farmers do not need to add additional fertiliser while planting.”

  • The benefits of coating seeds with this formula are:
  • Better seed to soil contact with the bigger seed,
  • Improved plantability,
  • Better flowability that promotes precision agriculture, as a vacuum planter can pick up single seeds,
  • Lowered input costs due to micro and macro nutrients already being in the seed, and
  • Healthier seedlings.

With the coating on the seed, there is also increased weight to it that makes it easier when planting. The farmer or tractor operator does not need to have specialised planters to plant grasses or cover crops anymore. What generally makes planting grasses difficult is the texture, size, and shape of the different seeds.

The packed seed is ready to be put on pallets and shipped to its destination where it will be delicious forage for livestock.

By using coated seed, farmers have better field establishment and an increased yield. This is in part due to the weight that makes the seed easier to plant, but also the fact that the insecticides and fungicides are broad spectrum and systemic. This allows the plant a good four weeks of coverage while the seed germinates and the roots develop.

“The risks and challenges of planting with uncoated seed include not using certified seed that you know where it comes from, and not protecting your seed from soilborne diseases that lowers yields,” he says.

Currently, Arno and his team is also working on developing a similar coating for vegetable seeds. “There are different needs for vegetables, but an incrusting process for that is also underway,” Arno adds. “Growers will need to keep an eye out for when we bring that to market,” he hints.

For further information about AgriCOTE, please contact Arno Gronum on +(27)11-762-5261 or send an e-mail to Agronum@agtfoods.com.

Watch why AgriCOTE from AGT Foods Africa is the seed buildup that improves yield and protects plants.

You can view this product on Agri4All.com.
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