Seeds are the tiny powerhouses that hold the potential for life and growth. They symbolise new beginnings, hope, and the cycle of nature. From the seeds we plant in our soil to the seeds we consume in our food, they play a crucial role in sustaining life on our planet.

In this article we look at 10 key benefits of using organic biological stimulants for seed treatment, to guard your tiny investments from pests like insects, diseases, and environmental stresses.

Sourcing Healthy Seeds

A seeds microbiome is the collection of microbes that live on and inside the seed. As the seed grows and develops, these microbes communicate with (quorum sensing), and are shaped by, their environment.  A healthy microbiome, inside the seed, is important for the plant’s growth, development, and resistance to disease.

Seeds preserve their own microbiome and the natural integrity of the plants genetics

Seeds grown without synthetic pesticides, or treated with fungicides, produce healthy seeds.  Open-pollinated seeds allow for natural pollination by insects, birds, wind, or other natural mechanisms, promoting genetic diversity within plant populations. 

Through responsible seed aquisition, and treatment practices, we can cultivate a more resilient agricultural system that benefits both the current, and future, generations.

What is Biological Seed Treatment?

Biological seed treatment is a 100% natural approach that involves the application of active ingredients such as beneficial fungi and bacteria. These can include bacterial and fungal inoculants, microbial biostimulants, biologically activated fertilisers, plant biostimulants, and trace minerals.

Applying beneficial microbes, in liquid form, to seeds ensures that the seeds are coated evenly with these biological substances, and provides them with essential support they need, right from the start.

Biological seed treatment enhances the seeds natural abilities and provides it with a strong foundation for growth

The even coating on the seeds ensures that these valuable components are readily available to support the seed throughout its development stages.

Biological Seed Treatment

What are the Benefits of Biological Seed Treatment?

Biological seed treatment offers numerous advantages for farmers and growers looking to optimise crop production.

Treating seeds with natural biostimulants enables the products biology close proximity to the crop root system, from day one

Proximity is critical for microbes that are dependent upon a relationship with the plants roots and rhizosphere community.  The benefits, of assisting this natural symbiotic relationship, ranges from promoting healthier seed germination to enhancing resistance against pests and disease.

Plant root rhyzosphere

By harnessing the power of nature, applying biological seed treatment, we can significantly improve agricultural outcomes.  Some of the main advantages of biological seed treatment include;

1. Accelerated Seed Germination

Faster seed germination has several advantageous for farmers and growers.  Benefits include allowing plants to establish themselves more rapidly, giving them a head start over potential competition from weeds or adverse environmental conditions.  Accelerated germination can also produce a more uniform plant growth across a field or garden bed.

2. Plants Grow Stronger and Better

By treating seeds with natural biostimulants like biologically activated fertilisers, plant roots and crops become stronger and more resilient, leading to improved yields and overall plant health.

Unlike traditional chemical treatments, organic biological seed treatment harnesses the power of nature to stimulate plant growth. The best natural treatments contain ‘living’ beneficial microorganisms, enzymes, and other organic compounds, such as the natural growth hormones found in seaweed biological fertiliser.

With quality organic compounds, made available to the plant, it soon establishes a symbiotic relationship with the beneficial microorganisms within ‘itself’ and the plants environment. This symbiosis enhances root development, nutrient uptake, and overall growth potential.

3. Helps Plants Fight off Pathogens

Organic biological seed treatment plays a pivitol role in enhancing plant health by harnessing the power of nature’s own defenses.

Biological seed treatment enable plants to build a strong immune system against pathogens

These treatments work by fostering a healthy microbiome in the soil surrounding the seeds, creating an environment where beneficial microbes can thrive and form protective networks around the plant roots.

Nature’s ‘army’ of microorganisms helps to outcompete harmful pathogens, preventing them from taking hold and causing damage to the plant.

Healthy Avocado Leaf

4. Continued Plant Health through the Growing Season

Organic biological agents, such as beneficial microorganisms and plant extracts, work by enhancing the natural processes within the plant. These agents can stimulate seed germination, promote robust root development, and strengthen the plant’s immune system, making it more resilient to environmental stresses and pests.

By incorporating these organic treatments into their seeding, growers can ensure their plants thrive from the very beginning, leading to healthier, more nutrient-dense crops that have a longer shelf life. This not only benefits the grower, but also the end consumer, who can enjoy produce that is fresher, more flavorful, and more nutritious.

5. Increased Nutrient Uptake by Plants

With organic nutrients made available to the soil biology, there is an increase in nutrient cycling, converting atmospheric nitrogen and breaking down organic matter into forms that are readily accessible to plants.

Biological seed treatment leverages the power of nature to enhance plant nutrient availability

The increase in microbial populations results in improved soil health and fertility. As these beneficial microorganisms thrive, they help capture essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and enhance the availability of nutrients for plants.  This translates to healthier plants with improved growth and resilience.

Seaweed Biological Fertiliser

6. Enhanced Root and Shoot Growth

By optimising early growth rates, treating seeds with biological stimulants not only improves the nutritional value of the crop but can also boost production yields.

Treating the seeds with biostimulants can stimulate root growth, leading to better nutrient absorption and stronger plants. Additionally, the enhanced shoot growth, will result in increased photosynthesis and overall plant productivity.

7. Reduced use of Agrochemicals

Biological seed treatments offers a chemical-free alternative to conventional methods using synthetic pesticides and fungicides. 

By utilising organic biological seed treatment, farmers can reduce their reliance on synthetic chemicals, contributing to a more environmentally friendly agricultural system. This approach aligns with sustainable regenerative farming practices, and helps maintain critical soil health for feeding future generations.

8. Stronger Next Generation Plants and Seeds

By using organic biological treatment, the seeds are fortified with a healthier seed microbiome. This results in the plants producing stronger seeds and more resilient plants in the next generation.  This has a profound effect on promoting optimal seed germination, root development, and overall plant health from one generation to the next.

Biological Seed Treatment

9. Easy to Apply

Biological seed treatment is a sustainable and environmentally friendly practice that can be implemented by hand, or using common farm equipment. This method involves treating seeds with naturally occurring organisms like bacteria or fungi to protect them from diseases and pests, and ultimately promoting healthy plant growth and health.

Organic biological seed treatment offers a chemical-free alternative to conventional seed treatments, aligning with the principles of organic and regenerative farming. By utilising existing farm equipment, like sprayers or direct seeders, farmers can efficiently apply these treatments to their seeds before planting.

10. Cost Effective

Biological seed treatment has gained significant attention in the agriculture industry, particularly among growers looking for cost-effective and high-return applications. The method involves using organic agents to treat seeds, with an average application of just 5 litres of liquid per tonne of seed.

“For direct-seeded crops, seed treatments are the least expensive and highest return application a grower can apply.” – John Kempf

Seeding with Biological Fertiliser

Ausplow direct seed and liquid inject machine using SONIC Liquid Seaweed Biological Fertiliser and Liquid Fish Hydrolysate

Biological Seed Treatment Methods

Liquid biological seed treatment involves applying a liquid formulation of beneficial microbes to coat the seeds. Treating seeds, on-farm, can be done in a few ways;

1. Seed Spraying Application

Spread seeds over a tarp or a large clean surface.  Using a fine nozzle, spray the seeds with the biological seed treatment, covering the seeds surfaces while moving the seeds around at the same time.  A cement mixer can also be used to rotate the seeds while spraying.  Allow the seeds to dry for 1-6 hours, (or overnight), in the shade before planting.

Precautions; Do not over wet the seeds, as it may cause germination, or if planting through a seeder machine.

Depending on your seed planting method, biological seed treatments can also be mixed with a 10% solution of sugar-water, using brown sugar, molasses, or jaggery.  Jaggery is a concentrated product of cane juice and often date or palm sap that has not been separated from the molasses and crystals. 

Applying a sugary solution to seeds does 2 things;
1. The solution sticks to the seeds, along with the biostimulant, and
2. The sugary solution provides food for the beneficial microbes, so that they can quickly reproduce and form networks around the plant roots as it grows.

2. Seed Soak Application

If seeds are being hand planted, seed soaking in biostimulants beforehand, is a great way to activate them and inoculate the seeds with healthy microbes.  For this method, simply dilute the inoculant with water, or as per the manufacturers instruction, and allow the seeds to soak for 5-10 hours or overnight.  Plant the inoculated seeds the next day.  Precautions; Some seeds such as legumes should not be pre-soaked.

3. In-Furrow Application

In-furrow application is a precise and effective method of delivering biological seed treatments.  Liquid in-furrow application allows farmers to apply liquid formulations of beneficial microbes to the seed and soil at the time of planting.

To treat seeds in-furrow, depending on your planting method, apply the liquid formulation at the same time, as a soil drench, while planting the seeds.  This can be done using a sprayer, or by hand with a watering can.  Be sure to cover the seed in the biological liquid as well as drenching the surrounding soil.

    biological seed treatment

    Optimal Times to Treat Seeds

    Biological Seed Treatment in winter pasture cropping has proved particularly beneficial for farmers.  The reason why winter applications can be so effective is that it is the time of year when all the underground ‘activities’ occur, eg. plant root and microorganism activity. 

    Pasture and cover cropping at this time enables the beneficial bacteria to populate, and flush the ground with a large portion of available nutrients. These nutrients are then ready and available when the ‘activity’ starts above the ground.

    Considerations

    When it comes to seed inoculation, ensuring that you acquire seeds that have not been chemically treated is crucial for the success of the process. Chemical treatments can interfere with the effectiveness of biostimulants and biological fertilisers used in organic inoculation.

    Additionally, doing your own research about the types of seeds you are inoculating is essential. Different seeds may require specific types of inoculants or methods for successful inoculation. Understanding the needs of each seed type will help you achieve optimal results in terms of plant growth and development.

    By being mindful of these factors and taking necessary precautions, you can maximise the benefits of seed inoculation and promote healthy plant growth and resilience in your garden or farm.

    Conclusion

    Investing in organic biological seed treatments is a simple yet powerful way for growers to enhance seed germination and plant growth.

    By adopting this method of applying organic biological seed treatment, farmers and gardeners can improve seed quality, increase crop yields, and contribute to a more sustainable agricultural practice. It’s a cost effective, simple yet impactful technique that supports plant health, human health and environmental conservation.

    SONIC Natural Farming

    LIQUID BIOLOGICAL FERTILISERS

    Ocean Nutrition
    for Healthy Crops

    Seaweed and Fish Biological Fertiliser

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