- Corteva Agriscience has just opened a seed treatment lab in Rosslyn, Pretoria in South Africa.
- The facility — named Center for Seed Applied Technologies (CSAT) — will focus specifically on recipe development and safety testing of seed-applied solutions.
- CSAT will undertake the treatment of seeds by applying chemical or biological substances such as fungicides or insecticides to seed surfaces. The treatments then help in safeguarding the seeds and seedlings against insects, fungal diseases, and soil-borne pathogens.
Why it matters:
According to the UN Food & Agriculture Organization, close to 40% of annual agricultural produce is lost to pests and diseases globally. This translates into an annual $220 billion loss to the global economy from plant diseases alone; pests cost the economy an estimated $70 billion globally.
These massive losses show just how vital solutions such as seed treatment are in reducing yield loss. A US study published by APS showed that treating soybean seeds with the fungicide fluopyram reduces production losses by an estimated 46.4%.
Treatments also allow for efficient and targeted use of active ingredients. This means that fewer pesticides can be used, helping to preserve biodiversity and pollinators, and promote sustainable agriculture.