Opportunities in Seed Coating Draw Major Investment From BrettYoung

Growth in the area of seed treating and coating has led turf and seed company BrettYoung to build a new multi-million dollar, 28 thousand square foot seed coating facility in the southwest corner of Winnipeg.

A grand opening for the seed treatment plant, which has annual capacity exceeding 50 million pounds, was held on Tuesday.

“It’s the single largest investment in the history of BrettYoung,” says Calvin Sonntag, CEO of BrettYoung, in the video above.

brettyoung_palletizer_robot
A robot that places seed bags onto pallets at a rate of 12 bags per minute.

The facility includes an automated rotary batch coating system with the ability to add multiple treatments, including crop protection products, micronutrients, inoculants, absorbers, active coatings and polymers.

The new seed treatment plant will replace BrettYoung’s old seed treating operation in Saskatoon.

“(That facility) had become quite dated and run out of capacity for the growth of our business,” explains the company’s chief operating officer Cory Baseraba.

The majority of BrettYoung’s seed coating business is currently in canola, including custom treating for other seed companies, although Sonntag says they see many other opportunities for application of products directly to seed.

“One need not go too far into the ag literature to recognize that coatings and treatments are becoming more important,” he notes. “We’ve seen a definite evolution in the performance level of fungicides and insecticides that are applied to canola and other crops to protect them from ever-evolving pest challenges. Biological coatings are another example of something bringing new benefits to farmers.”

The plant is also positioned to take advantage of looming regulatory changes, as the Agrichemical Warehousing Standards Association’s new requirements for seed treatment facilities are set to take effect in 2017. Those rules will favour commercial-scale treating operations over smaller on-farm treaters.

The opening of the seed treating and coating facility coincides with BrettYoung’s 80th anniversary this year.

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