Crop Nutrition

BIO-CAPSULE TECHNOLOGY™ “…could make liquid seed treatment obsolete.”

Meristem Announces EPA-approval for METALAXYL ST* Through Patented Seed-fluency Delivery System

01 March 2024, Houston: Meristem Crop Performance today announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a new formulation of METALAXYL ST fungicide for use in their patented BIO-CAPSULE TECHNOLOGY™ complete seed-fluency delivery system. The company will now pair METALAXYL ST with its new biocontrol PREPHYTE ST** to bring multiple modes of action and more effective seed protection to soybeans while eliminating the need for liquids and seed treaters.

“Metalaxyl is today’s “gold standard” systemic fungicide for controlling multiple species of Pythium and Phytophthora,” said Mitch Eviston, Meristem Founder and CEO in making the announcement at the Commodity Classic, an annual meeting of more than 5,000 grain farmers. “Now we can deliver it to the furrow with our new biocontrol PREPHYTE ST to maximize protection for the seed in a very convenient way for farmers.” He said Meristem will be offering “a few thousand acres” of first-look pails in the REVLINE® HOPPER THROTTLE™ brand through a select group of dealers in 2024.

Eviston also explained that polymers and colorants used in traditional liquid seed treatments actually decrease the efficacy of the materials applied, something use of the BIO-CAPSULE system avoids entirely. “Independent, third-party research has documented that the BIO-CAPSULE puts 10-times the live microbes and other active ingredients on the seed when compared with conventional seed treatment or what can be applied through liquid on the planter. We’re really thrilled to learn how this horsepower can be harnessed to protect each seed from yield-robbing disease.”

“I’ve spent 10 years working with biologicals and we have struggled for years to keep biologicals alive through the atomization process in conventional treaters and some great biocontrol technology hasn’t shown positive results,” said Chris Thrasher, Meristem’s Director of Innovation and Product Management. “But now, the BIO-CAPSULE allows us to use the fungicide and the biocontrol together to address the primary soil-borne diseases in soybeans and seedlings. It’s really a game-changer. This is the new easy-button for seed protection. This could make liquid seed treatment obsolete.”

“Every farmer uses talc/graphite to optimize their seed singulation and a few years ago, we learned that it was also an easy way to deliver biologicals and other active ingredients to the furrow,” explains Eviston. “We put our shoulder to it and found out that putting the biologicals in separate capsules kept them alive, and that opens up all sorts of possibilities.” He says real excitement for him came when extensive research demonstrated the 10x power of the BIO-CAPSULE seed fluency system.

Research documents delivery of 10 times the live microbes to the seed through BIO-CAPSULE seed fluency compared to liquid seed treatment.

“For my whole career, soybeans have been an under-managed crop,” said Eviston, “so we are applying ourselves to changing that. This is the first and only product available to American soybean farmers that will deliver a full starter package and control harmful damping-off diseases,” he added. “When we can keep these beneficial microbes viable and vigorous all the way to the point of impact, we are able to get more protection for the seed and a much healthier start for the plant.”

Eviston says this sort of innovative benefit for American farmers is long overdue. “There’s been no significant innovation in seed treatment or seed protection for 30 years,” he said. “And too often, it’s been because the big companies have kept it out of the market. We feel we can save American farmers up to 50 percent if they simply buy their soybean seed naked and treat it at the planter.”

Thrasher said these seed protection benefits from the BIO-CAPSULE are only beginning. “When you can increase the impact of beneficial microbes by a factor of 10, you open up all sorts of possibilities,” he said. “We are scouring the world for biologicals and other materials that will produce more bushels for less and put more choices back into the hands of local farmers and their agronomists.”

“We’re the high-yield soybean company,” said Eviston. “We aim to help each and every soybean grower get a yield that’s their new personal best, and with the opportunity to keep their variable crop input costs around $225 per acre. The world needs more soybeans, and we want to help farmers take advantage of that demand.”

*EPA approved, EPA Reg. No. 94485-8,       **EPA approval pending, EPA Reg. No. 94485-5

Also Read: Secretary Agriculture Releases Two Whitepapers by Kisan-Vigyan Foundation on India’s Food Security

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