Seed World

Independent Activate Ag Labs Launches to Improve Global Access to Seed Coating Innovations

Activate Ag Labs announced the new independent seed technology company is now delivering advanced research, testing, and commercialization support to the global agricultural industry. Designed to improve seed processing and planting, seed coating materials development helps improve sustainable agricultural practices and enhance crop yields. The new lab is independent from industry leaders, making it unique as a source of seed coating assessment, innovation, and testing services.

Advances in seed coating materials and additives are moving at breakneck speed around the world. In North America, the seed coating market is projected to grow more than 7% annually from 2020- 2050. North America is the largest geographic market in the world for the seed coating market, making up 40%, with advances in farming technology and environmental concerns increasing the need for seed coating. Europe is the second largest market, with Asia having the fastest growing market in the world.

Activate Ag Labs brings unique equipment and processes to the industry, including imaging techniques using multi-spectral analysis, automated germination speed, vigor measurement to assess seed application, and equipment to look at the survival of beneficial microbes. Research areas include benchmarking, measuring product performance, and formulation support. Physical testing is offered in the areas of stability and safety, accelerated aging, speed of germination G50, cold stress, water stress, heat stress, TZ tests and phytotoxicity. In addition, commercialization support for advanced seed coating products includes germination testing to ISTA or AOSA standards, registration support, and product sourcing.

“With unique testing methods developed in-house and industry-leading lab technology, our innovative team is prepared to support diverse clients around the world,” said Simon Watt, Chief Technology and Information Officer. “With increased access to the testing, benchmarking, and development tools, together we can improve seed coating formulations and strengthen the global food chain.”

Activate Ag Lab’s multi-disciplinary team brings over 30 years of experience in seed technology in the areas of biology, chemistry, and physics; along with a mix of commercial and academic work history. The team is led by Simon Watt, Chief Technology and Information Officer (CTIO), who specializes in seed enhancement technologies. Dr Ming Koh in his role as R&D Manager has specialisms in polymer chemistry. In addition, Senior Research Scientist Dr Wasantha Madurapperuma’s work in Plant Physiology research includes soil and plant water relations, plant nutrients deficiencies, soil moisture stress and drought effects on plants and their effect on plant morphological, physiological, biochemical changes. Upama Pageni, Research Scientist, works with biofertilizers having written theses on gluconacetobacter and rhizobium bacteria.

Global requirements and regulations for seed coating vary around the world, as do seed varieties, group types, and environmental conditions. The seed coating industry helps agricultural partners respond to these changes, as well as the growing awareness globally of the environmental impact seed treatment has. From reducing dust to improving pellet strength and enhancing seed stability, Activate Ag Lab helps partners prepare for a dynamic agricultural future.