Seed World

Can You Count on Your Seed Treatment Ingredient Suppliers?

Reliability and Consistency: More than a Goal, Make it a Standard Practice

There’s something to be said about a person or company you can count on to be there for you anytime, anyplace. When it comes to seed and seed treatment, timing is everything and delays could cost companies, and their farmer customers, dollars.

From the seed itself, to the ingredients found in the seed treatment, find partners who will be there when you need them.

“I think the key for Clariant is that there is control over each of the manufacturing steps across eight global facilities,” says Kevin Brost, vice president of marketing and business development for Standard Colors, North American partner with Clariant. “There’s also just an enormous amount of scrutiny that goes into the suppliers for ingredient products – it’s not just anyone. They’re well-vetted sources.”

Clariant creates seed treatment colors, polymers and seed coating technology and have for decades. However, they take a different approach when it comes to creating these ingredients.

“For the pigment components that provide the color, manufacturing is a backward integrated,” says John Kibbee, Standard Colors vice president of technology. “Clariant has the size, and decades invested to go to the beginning of the manufacturing chain and create every component that creates the final pigment. That’s a big deal and something many companies can’t do, making the supply of those key ingredients especially reliable.”

This process enables dependability – and what matters most to seed scientists and companies, is consistency of final product. The whole team at Clariant and Standard Colors is committed to ensuring reliability and has systems in place to make this happen. When you’re working with a living organism like seed, standardization is paramount to avoid negative impacts with other components.

“There’s a strong technical component to protecting the seed,” Brost explains. “It’s mixing numerous ingredients, chemical and biological, some of which need to be kept alive on the seed to do their job in the field. So, if customers want their end product to be consistent, each of the ingredients need consistency, too.”

Institutional Knowledge

There’s something to be said for years of experience not only in the pigment, polymers and coatings segment, but also understanding in seed and seed treatments, too. Clariant and their North American partner Standard Colors’ have key employees with extensive experience in the seed treatment industry as a whole.

This institutional knowledge is something that can’t be trained and has taken 30+ years for Brost and Kibbee, for example, to develop. And it’s something that helps set the company apart.

“The employees here have the touch and feel, they know when something isn’t right,” Kibbee says. “It’s just another level of scrutiny and helps the company avoid mistakes from the start, and throughout the value chain.”

In addition, employees and a company with decades-long experience in seed treatment makes them nimble when the world, literally, falls apart.

“I think how we handled the 2020 pandemic speaks to the value experience in this segment of the industry can provide,” Brost says. “There were some logistical challenges, but we avoided supply shortages through forecasting and planning and working closely with our customers, and by going the extra mile to search globally to secure the supply of product for unexpected needs.”

Aside from a few longer-than-typical timelines, Brost says they didn’t have any glitches during the pandemic. Seed treatment timelines are a tight, critical window, and it’s one the team at Clariant fights to protect with reliability.

From the seed treatment manufacturing facility to the farm gate, having access to a reliable supply of consistent products is critical. Find a partner who can deliver the quality products you require time after time.

To learn more, visit or contact Kevin Brost at 406-204-4404 or