Bayer CropScience announced that its new seed lubricant, Fluency Agent, is now available for use by growers in the United States.
Fluency Agent is a seed lubricant for corn and soybean seeds, which is designed to replace standard talc and graphite seed lubricants. In lab tests, the product was shown to help reduce the amount of total dust released in treated seeds by 90 percent versus talc and 60 percent versus graphite, thus reducing the potential risk of exposure to pollinators, if they come in direct contact with the dust during the planting process.
“Although there is already a low-level of potential for pollinators to come in contact with dust from treated seed during planting, the Fluency Agent offers added protection,” said Kerry Grossweiler, manager of equipment and coatings, SeedGrowth, Bayer CropScience. “The product is another effort by Bayer CropScience to develop and implement stewardship best management practices that promote honey bee health.”
In spring 2013, Bayer conducted extensive field trials of the product -- covering more than 40,000 acres – with growers in the United States and Canada. The majority of growers said Fluency Agent was equal to or better than traditional seed lubricants. This spring Bayer plans on conducting demonstration plots with growers on 250,000 corn acres to confirm performance and raise awareness of the product.
“It's pretty simple really; easy to apply, a smaller quantity. It worked equal or better than regular talc; absolutely no issues whatsoever,” said Ed Benjamins, a grower from Ontario and a participant in one of the 2013 Fluency Agent field studies.
As an application guideline, Fluency Agent is applied at the rate of 1/8 cup per 80,000 kernel seed corn unit or 1/8 cup per 140,000 seed soybean unit. Fluency Agent can be used in all makes and types of planting equipment that recommend the use of a seed lubricant.
Bayer has been actively involved in finding solutions to improve honey bee health for more than 25 years. Its Bee Care Program includes initiatives designed to further bee health research, engagement and discussion and bring Bayer’s extensive experience and knowledge in bee health under one platform. The company will open a Bee Care Center at the Bayer CropScience North American headquarters, in April with a focus on research and sustainability. Bayer is also conducting its second annual Bee Care Tour across the country, fostering collaboration among university researchers, beekeepers, growers, governmental officials and others interested in bee health.