What To Expect From Enhanced Seed Nutrition

Posted in: FertilityPlant Enhancement Technology

Healthy Seed – Healthy Start!

The evolution of seed applied nutrition within the Western Canadian market place has come a long ways in the last 10-12 years. The first known seed applied nutrient product was introduced based on several key agronomic factors that still hold true to today.

Most growers understand the importance of vigorous seed, however what some may not understand is the importance of nutrition on or around the seed at the very early stages of germination or what it takes to make strong vigorous quick developing seedling.

We know that there are many factors that can affect the germination of seedlings.

Some would say that the seed sitting in the palm of your hand has the most potential it will ever have, and once you introduce that seed to the soil, numerous stress points begin to play a negative role on that seeds ability to produce.

Factors that can add to seedling stress
Our job as agronomists or producers is now to mitigate as many stress points as we can to give that seed the best start possible.

Plants need Phosphorus to develop their early root system

Plants need a well developed root system to take up Phosphorus

When it comes to seed applied nutrition, phosphorus is one nutrient that garners a lot of attention. We realize that Phosphorus is required early on to help get the seedling established, yet we also realize that phosphorus doesn’t travel to the root system due to its immobility.

Hence the challenge of needing Phosphorus early to develop a root system, while at the same time needing a developed root system to take in Phosphate. These 2 scenarios simply don’t match up which begins the process of understanding the importance of seed applied nutrition.

And if we take this one step further, we need to understand the overall influence of soil temperature. If your farming in Western Canada, there’s a very good chance you’ll be seeding in cooler than average soil temperatures. And what that also means is another challenge when it comes to the early season availability of important nutrients like Phos and Zinc.

Roots Need to Find Phosphate

Phosphorus is only available within 1mm of the plant root (20 times less then nitrogen
Soil Temperature and P Uptake

Soil temperature is a useful gauge for timing when crops are seeded. If the soil is too cool, germination can be delayed which can result in uneven or inadequate seedling emergence. Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) offers some tips on how to accurately measure soil temperature:

  • Determine how deep you will be seeding
  • Place your soil thermometer at that targeted depth
  • Take two measurements throughout the day: one in the morning (8 am) and one in the early evening (8 pm).
  • Average the two readings to determine the average soil temperature

MAFRD recommends you take readings for two to three days to establish a multiple day average, and to measure temperature in a number of locations in the field, to account for field variability.

Table 1 shows the minimum germination temperatures for various crops. These values should be regarded as approximate since germination depends on several factors. If the soil is too cool, germination can be delayed which can result in uneven or inadequate seedling emergence.

Table 1: Minimum Germination Temperatures for Various Crops
Crop Temperature (°C)
Wheat 4
Barley 3
Oats 5
Corn 10
Canola 5
Flax 9
Sunflower 6
Edible Beans 10
Peas 4
Soybeans 10


Over the past 10 to 12 years, many producers have used or continue to use nutritional seed dressing because of what has been noted above. Based on our experience, the science is sound and the agronomic attributes are real.

However one of the challenges that the seed nutritional dressing market has experienced is consistency. One year a producer might see tremendous visuals early on, while the next year it might not be as much. These challenges could be a result of the simple environmental conditions that we all know play a role in early seedling establishment. The other might be the constancy of products or the “delivery mechanism” that is built in to these products to help make them more consistent and usable by the plant.

In order to continue to advance products and agriculture alike, Taurus is pleased to introduce Intrinsic™ into our product line.

Intrinsic™ is a synthetic organic molecule that applies the latest technology in agricultural science to enhance the plants ability to fight stress conditions through better root growth, increased water use efficiency, reduced transpiration and increased nutrient absorption.

Intrinsic™ is delivered to the plant through Taurus’s exclusive Plant Enhancement Technology product line

Taurus is proud of the role it plays in bringing new and exciting technologies to Western Canadian Agriculture. And when it comes to seed applied nutrition, we are excited to be once again working with a leading edge organization that is focused on the science of not only the nutrition itself – but rather the delivery mechanism that increases consistency and gets more out of the nutrition you’re applying to the seed.

So this spring as you’re watching your crop germinate, don’t forget to look below the surface.

Talk to your Taurus rep and ask us how we can help with our many years of experience in this area of seedling agronomy!

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