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Seed Treatments Make a Difference

ProfitProAG’s seed coatings contain a blend of microbes, including multiple strains of mycorrhizal fungi, trichoderma, pseudomonas, Azotobacter, Bacillus, Penicilium and streptomyces. In addition, a blend of minerals and nutrients feed the microbes and a biostimulant activates them. The seed coatings are available in liquid and dry and can be applied on-farm. The seed coating produces a more robust root system, larger stalk and an overall healthier plant.

Below is a brief synopsis and function of each microbe strain in ProfitCoat seed coatings.

Mycorrhizal fungi form on the root system of most plants. While most agronomic crops can support mycorrhizae, there are exceptions such as horseradish, which will not support a relationship. The fungi will form small hyphae (like tiny fingers) that are smaller than root hairs, but can extend further than root hairs to obtain moisture and nutrients, especially phosphorus for the plant. The Mycorrhizae also provide beneficial enzymes and proteins to the plant. The plant, in turn, provides the mycorrhizae with carbohydrates and sugars that the fungi use for energy. Mycorrhizal fungi is the main way that trees survive in a forest. While the fungi scavenge for nutrients and water, the tree supplies the mycorrhizae with carbon from sugar for energy. It contributes to the production of a larger and healthier root system.

Trichoderma fungi work as an antagonist, meaning that they infect and attack predator pathogens that are harmful to the plant. In China, they use Trichoderma to control damping off and seedling blight in rice, and they discovered it was just as effective as a regular fungicide without harming the soil biology. In addition, they found that the survival rate of the rice was 80 percent higher than the area treated with a fungicide. Trichoderma will colonize the root and protect it from pathogens. It works similar to Mycorrhizae in that it finds nutrients and moisture and supplies the plant with enzymes and proteins while the plant supplies the Trichoderma with carbon from sugar. It contributes to producing a larger and healthier root system.

Pseudomonas (according to David Weller of the USDA and Washington State University who wrote a paper on Psuedomonas in agriculture and why they work so well as a biocontrol agent of soilborne pathogens)

  • 1) They are well adapted and can handle many different environments and stresses including tight soils without air.
  • 2) They grow rapidly, proliferate and utilize seed and root exudates (aka carbon in the form of sugar).
  • 3) They colonize and multiply in the rhizosphere and the interior of the plant.
  • 4) They produce bioactive metabolites including antibiotics and growth promoting chemicals.
  • 5) They compete aggressively with other pathogens and protect the plant from infection.

In summation, they are similar to Trichoderma in that they attack and prevent infection of pathogens. However, they are a bacteria vs. Trichoderma, which are fungi.

Azotobacter are free-living, nitrogen- fixing bacteria in the soil. Azotobacter harvest nitrogen from the atmosphere (nitrogen fixation) and fix it into plant-usable ammonium ions. The plant and the Azotobacter work symbiotically together. The plant supplies the Azotobacter with sugars and ATP (adenosine triphosphate or the energy that the plant produces) while the Azotobacter supplies the plant with N. Without ATP, nitrogen fixation cannot take place. Azotobacter have several enzymes that allow it to fix nitrogen, but the main one is nitrogenase. The main nitrogenase enzyme is molybdenum-iron nitrogenase, which demonstrates the importance of molybdenum for nitrogen efficiency due to its presence in the moly-iron nitrogenase enzyme. Similar to Pseudomonas, Azotobacter can tolerate extreme conditions as well as low oxygen conditions.

Bacillus bacteria species is also included in the seed coating. Bacillus is used as a biocontrol agent and can be purchased by itself, for that purpose, in gardening magazines. They produce antibiotics that compete with pathogens by either killing or inhibiting their growth. They colonize the root, compete with other pathogens and even prevent them from attaching to the root system. It is interdependent with the plant and feeds off the plant’s exudates and deprives the pathogens of a food source. It will also trigger SAR (systemic acquired resistance), which activates the plant’s defense mechanism to kick in and help fend off the pathogen.

Penicillium species are fungi that give off enzymes and organic acids to solubilize tied up soil phosphorus. Many times phosphorus is tied up and bound to calcium and magnesium in high pH soils and by iron and aluminum in low pH soils. It has a mutually beneficial relationship with the plant and provides it with the phosphorus so that it doesn’t tie back up again. This is very important because once it’s solubilized, it needs to be absorbed immediately or it will bind to Ca and Mg. Penicillium species also increase plant and root growth by providing phosphorus to the plant. Studies have shown an increase in grain yield by up to seven percent.

Streptomyces species is bacteria that promotes growth and acts as a biocontrol of pathogens. Like the other microbes in the coating, it takes up residence in the plant’s rhizosphere and works symbiotically in supplying the plant with protection and promoting growth while the plant supplies it with sugars as its food source. Streptomyces species are a form of actinomyces and produce the earthy smell of soil.

What else does the seed coating have?

Other nutrients are also needed to supply the microbes to fully function and thrive. The seed coating also includes a biological solubilizer and stimulant. The solubilizer breaks down the nutrients into a soluble form so that the microbes can use them and the stimulant activates the microbes and boosts them up!

Biological Seed treatment options 

Profitcoat seed coatings contain a blend of microbes, including multiple strains of mycorrhizal fungi, trichoderma, pseudomonas, Azotobacter, Bacillus, Penicilium and streptomyces. In addition, a blend of minerals and nutrients feed the microbes and a biostimulant activates them. The seed coatings are available in liquid and dry and can be applied on-farm. The seed coating produces a more robust root system, larger stalk and an overall healthier plant.

Profitcoat PB This is a three-fungicide mix and insecticide that sets a new standard for water mold control. Both options deliver superior protection against well-known seed-borne and soil-borne diseases. 

ProfitcoatPB + OSI  A three-fungicide mix for soybeans, this product includes a polymer and color in a ready-to-use formulation.  

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