For more than 40 years, dust-off of seed treatment chemicals has been a major problem for U.S. agriculture. Not only does dust-off of active ingredients pose a potential health risk for seed treaters and farmers, it also threatens pollinators and other non-target species. In addition, dust-off reduces the effectiveness of seed treatment products, costing farmers millions of dollars in lost yield potential.

To help alleviate this problem, KALO, Inc. of Overland Park, Kan., recently introduced IMPRESS™ seed treatment additive. IMPRESS is a non-pesticide seed treatment additive designed to improve the coverage and retention of seed treatments on treated seed when applied with EPA-registered seed treatments, such as fungicides and insecticides.

“IMPRESS is a patent-pending, one-of-a-kind seed treatment additive labeled for use on all varieties of wheat, barley, oats, rice, rye and triticale,” explained Brett Henson, Market Segment Manager for KALO. “Studies show that IMPRESS reduces seed treatment dust-off by as much as 97 percent.  In addition, it enhances seed treatment coverage on the seed while improving flowability and plantability.”

Henson pointed to a series of lab tests in which four crops (durum wheat, barley, hulless barley and spring oats) were treated with Dividend Extreme (difenoconzole and mefenoxam), Rancona 3.8 (ipconazole), Vibrance (sedaxane) and Cruiser 5FS (thiamethoxam), with and without IMPRESS.  Seed samples were tumbled under a vacuum, with a filter capturing any dust escaping the seed. The results showed that IMPRESS reduced dust-off by an average of 85.8 percent across all crops and treatments, with dust-off in wheat seed reduced by up to 97 percent.

“It should also be noted that IMPRESS has no adverse effect whatsoever on the performance of fungicide and insecticide seed treatments,” added Henson. “In fact, since more seed treatment remains on the seed, IMPRESS actually enhances the performance of these products in the field.  Plus, germination tests conducted by Iowa State University show that IMPRESS has no adverse effect whatsoever on seed germination.”

Jason Mathis, Warehouse & Sales Manager for Consolidated Ag Group in Rutherford, TN has first-hand experience with IMPRESS. “We treated about 25,000 units of wheat seed last year with IMPRESS and the results were obvious,” Mathis recalled. “It stopped all the build-up in the tub and eliminated the caking up at the head of the conveyor leading out to the auger.  I’ll never go without it again, that’s for sure.”

Another seed company that used IMPRESS last year was Phillips Seed of Hope, KS. “I believe IMPRESS is a must for the safety of all parties involved,” stated Eric Woofter, General Manager of Phillips Seed. “It helps keep equipment and everyone around it clean. We highly recommend IMPRESS to everyone.”

In addition to being effective in reducing dust-off, IMPRESS is very economical to use, according to Norm Wagoner, KALO’s Manager, Business Development for Adjuvants & Seed Care. “When applied at the typical use rate of one fluid ounce per hundredweight, IMPRESS only costs about 20 cents per 50-pound unit of seed based on the manufacturers suggested retail price. IMPRESS IR, which also includes a red seed colorant, only costs about 25 cents per 50-pound unit.  So it’s a very cost-effective way to control dust-off issues and ensure that more active ingredient stays on the seed, where it belongs.”

When asked about plans for expanding the use of IMPRESS to other grain crops, Henson stated that research is ongoing and new crops should be added to the label within the next two years.