Labeling Seed through Colors
Author: Dr. Jay Staiger
How to Identify Seed Types and Hybrids
Every great harvest springs from one single beginning—the seed. In an effort to produce the most effective yields, agricultural growers work tirelessly to create new seed types and hybrids that produce new, desirable traits. Hybrid seeds have allowed agriculturalists to breed and produce unique crop varieties that stand up to the challenging growing conditions of today’s changing climate and exposure to pests. With many different seed hybrids and types in the hands of farmers and growers, differentiating one seed variety from another becomes a challenge. This year, the Tennessean reported on a farmer who mixed up grass seed with turnip seed because of incorrect labeling on his seed bags. In an attempt to grow hay for horse feed, the farmer was surprised with a field full of turnips.
Buying colored seed is one way that growers have been able to distinguish between seed types and hybrids. Unique colors help to classify seed types, hybrids, particular pesticide applications, seed brands, etc. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actually requires seed that is coated with any form of chemical or biological treatment to use color to avoid any confusion in case these seeds found their way back onto the food or feed market.
Innovation in Color Application for Seeds
Traditionally, seed coating has been colored by basic red, blue, and green pigment solutions, providing little function beyond a simple color code. However, with recent advancements in seed coating technology, we can engineer solutions to offer more efficient color coatings and shade options, as well as functional seed enhancements. Sensient’s novel seed coating line provides superior color consistency across a wide range of seed varieties, including row crop, vegetable seed, grass, forage and botanical seeds. Available in dry and liquid forms, SensiCoat™ is a highly concentrated color coating solution, encapsulated by proprietary technology that helps prevent dust settlement while enhancing flowability and improving overall color appearance.
Learn about some of our new SensiCoat color solution offerings at The American Seed Trade Association CSS 2016, as well as Seed Expo in Chicago, December 5-9 and/or The Independent Professional Seed Association’s (IPSA) 28th Annual Conference in San Diego, January 10-12.
If you have any questions about seed coating solutions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.