PreCede - Best Practices

Applying liquid products to seed moistens the seed and reduces flowability. Steps can be taken to minimize this reduction in grain flowability or "stickiness." Here are some steps that can be taken to enhance the flowability of treated grain.

Written on 04/30/15

Factors Affecting the Stickiness of Treated Grain

  • Drying – this is the single most important factor in reducing grain stickiness – the drier the grain, the less sticky it will be.  Improve grain drying by:
    • Treating the grain as early as practical – increasing the time between treating and seeding will give the grain more time to dry
    • Moving the grain – the simple act of augering grain will aid in drying and will help to break up any clumps that may have formed.  For example, moving treated grain from a truck to a bin for storage for several days or weeks, then to a truck and finally the field at seeding time is much preferred to augering freshly treated grain directly into the seeder.  Grain should be as dry as possible when going into bins for storage. 
    • Environmental factors – treated grain will dry better in warm, dry conditions.  Avoid treating grain during cold, wet conditions if possible
  • Formulation – some formulations are inherently stickier than others.  Generally, higher viscosity liquids and products containing more ingredients are stickier than thinner products containing less ingredients.  A balance must be struck between product efficacy and grain flowability. 
  • Volume – the greater the amount of product applied, the wetter the grain and the potential stickiness.  Higher application volumes, including the addition of water, can thin viscous products to help improve coverage.  However, a balance needs to be struck between maximizing grain coverage and minimizing grain wetness. 
  • Coverage – Although care must be taken not to overly wet grain when treating, uniform coverage will minimize stickiness.  Avoid applying globs of liquid that can contribute to overly wet, clumpy grain that could plug equipment.  Use equipment that will thoroughly mix treated grain to help optimize coverage. 
  • Equipment – some materials allow for better grain flowability than others.  For example, grain sticks much less to seeder drives composed of polyvinyl augers and flighting as opposed to metal components
  • Additives – polymers like Disco seed coating can improve grain flowability by making it more slippery.  However, these additives typically have to be applied as a second application to treated grain. 
  • Grain Quality – clean grain that is free of dust and foreign material will flow better than grain contaminated with chaff, etc.  Clipping the awns of oats for example will greatly enhance their flowability