Seed World

Agrocer® Colorants: Providing Vibrant Solutions in Today’s Challenging AGRO Market

2020 has proven to be a very challenging year. COVID-19 has changed the way we live and fundamentally affected the global economy. The impact that the pandemic has had on agriculture, specifically the international trade of seed, is still to be determined. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has called for the agriculture sector to be classified as essential in all countries to ensure the continued production and movement of seed1.

Today’s AGRO market is more competitive than ever with AGRO companies, seed treaters and farmers alike looking for better options to some of the challenges they face around identification, value, safety, branding and inventory. This is where superior color solutions come into the picture.

“Even outside of these challenging times, seeds are an expensive component for a farmer, they continue to increase in value year-after-year. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency mandates that all seeds treated with a biological or chemical pesticide be color treated as an identification tool. Why not make color work for you?” asks Mark Self, market segment manager for Special Applications, Business Unit Pigments North America at Clariant.

Clariant’s Agrocer colorants offer the superior solutions that the market is currently looking for, addressing questions and concerns around safety, usability and customization.

Germination and Safety

Key concerns to the seed treatment industry include the potential impact that seed colorants have on plant germination and growth, as well as potential dust exposure from treated seed to humans and beneficial insects during storage, transport, handling and planting. Agrocer color products go through rigorous testing across multiple plant species and numerous combinations of polymers, colorants, and active ingredients representing a wide range of typical seed treatments to simulate ‘real life’. With their extensive testing, Agrocer colorants are designed to take into account the key concerns of the seed treatment industry.

Usability and Customization

Previously, the basic range for seed colorants consisted of red, blue, green and violet. With EPA approval of Clariant’s Agrocer pigments Yellow 1 and Red 112, virtually any shade is possible. “These two pigments complete the color palette, allowing customers to design their seed products with the safeguard of knowing they are compliant, safe, reliable, and can be marketed internationally,” says Self. Available in liquid, granular and powdered options, in any package size required, the different handling forms provide flexibility and compliment any level of expertise or technical capacity at a customer site. Agrocer products are also formulated with a high pigment load, meaning that weight for weight they can cost less than traditional colorants.

Taking Color Applications a Step Further

Agrocer can help grow brand recognition for seed products with specific colors, making seeds recognizable and, more importantly, distinguishable. “Companies can use color in their marketing, creating additional value by utilizing a specific color to identify and brand their seeds. Safety and VALUE can be associated with the ability to identify a seed treatment at a glance. Users will know right away that the product has the traits they want. Seed coloration, once an afterthought, is now an important tool used alongside packaging and marketing materials as a branding opportunity,” Self concludes.

The full impact of 2020 is still unknown for the globalized seed industry. What is clear, is that seeds play a fundamental role in our food systems and Clariant’s Agrocer colorants offer the next generation of products for successful coating and planting results, helping to contribute to food security.

To learn more about Clariant and Agrocer seed coloration, visit or contact Kevin Brost at 406-204-4404 or