Biological seed treatment products include active ingredients such as living microbes, plant extracts, fermentation products, and phytohormones that control primary soil and seed-borne infestations of insects and diseases that affect crop protection and yield. These products improve the availability of nutrients in the rhizosphere, promote nutrient and water uptake, optimize nutrient utilization, foster shoot and root growth, and protect plants from pathogens.
Biological seed treatments are increasingly being adopted for their benefits, such as optimizing plant growth, minimizing stress, boosting overall yield, and maintaining minimum residue limit.
Seed treatment represents an effective mode of delivering biological products due to the proximity of these products to the root system from the beginning. Proximity holds critical significance for microbes or microorganisms that depend on the relationship with roots and the rhizosphere community. Biological seed treatments are used independently or with chemicals to improve efficiency and enhance yield potential.
Growing concerns over harmful chemicals used in chemical seed treatment, such as neonicotinoids, have boosted the adoption of biological seed treatment technologies. Biologicals are always safer for the environment than chemical products and are often formulated to only affect the target pest and closely related organisms (selective), in direct contrast to chemical pesticides, which frequently offer broad coverage (non-selective) that negatively impacts insects, animals, and birds that come into contact with them and the environment in general.
Consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the adverse health effects of chemicals used in food production and the potential hazards of chemical residues in food, driving the demand for chemical-free production alternatives. These factors have encouraged growers to practice organic farming, subsequently increasing the adoption of biological seed treatment products. Thus, growing concerns over harmful chemicals used in food production and the wide range of benefits of biological seed treatment are expected to create significant opportunities for the players operating in the biological seed treatment market, contributing to the growth of the global seed treatment machinery (coating and drying) market.
Earlier, binders and mixers were used for microbial seed coating; however, fluidized bed dryers are now being used for the process. In this process, seeds are mixed with inocula to improve crop growth and yield and protect crops against pathogens. Coating seeds with Plant Beneficial Microbes (PBM) helps improve seedling establishment and germination, helping achieve high yield and enhanced food quality. Thus, the benefits of biological seed treatment technologies have increased the adoption of fluidized bed dryers.
Furthermore, seed treatment equipment manufacturers are now focusing on developing lab-scale seed coaters and dryers, including lab-scale rotary coaters, lab fluid beds, and lab dryers, making them suitable for biological seed treatment. Such developments in the seed treatment machinery industry are expected to create lucrative growth opportunities for the players operating in the global seed treatment machinery (coating and drying) market.
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