Ashlyn Ridgway - Agronomist, Lake Grace and Kulin WA.
Pulse Seed Coat is a seed coating mix specifically designed to maximise colonisation of rhizobia bacteria onto the roots of pulse crops and to give them a boost at emergence. It is a relatively new product to the WA market, and as such, we thought we should validate interstate results by trialing it in our own conditions. Following good results in South Australia, we trialed some at Kulin WA this year.
The Pulse formulation includes zinc, manganese, molybdenum, a seaweed extract and concentrated biochemistry in the form of Foundation LM. This combination serves to improve emergence of the crop, including improved early root growth, which gives the rhizobia a valuable nutrition source earlier than untreated crops.
Previous trials of Pulse Seed Coat were conducted in the northern Mallee region of South Australia in 2015 (<250 mm annual rainfall), where prior to Pulse Seed Coat application, colonisation of rhizobia on legume crops was highly variable and in many cases inadequate for optimal plant growth. The results of these 2015 trials were a yield response of 163kg/ha in lentils and 182kg/ha in peas to Pulse (Table 1).
Based on the results in South Australia, we decided to test the efficacy of Pulse Seed Coat on lupins in the Kulin area of WA. At time of sowing, the rainfall outlook was decile 2-3 and seedling establishment would be key to setting up yield potential. Soil type across the trial site was mostly sandplain. Jurien lupins were sown on the 24th of April 2018 at a seeding rate of 90kg/ha. The Pulse Seed Coat treatment had 5 L/t applied to the seed. The first rainfall event over 10 mm occurred in June, four weeks after seeding. The total growing season rainfall was 177 mm.
Throughout the growing season there was no visible difference in biomass until directly prior to harvest. Observations prior to harvest indicated increased branching and pod-set of the treated area. When the trial was harvested, treated area returned a yield of 1.9 t/ha compared to 1.6 t/ha untreated. The yield response to the 5 L/t treated area was 300 kg/ha, a return on investment of $105.97/ha, from an outlay of less than $3.50/ha for the Pulse Seed Coat treatment. A great result given the season!
I understand this is only one trial, but the results from this trial are very positive. The early dry conditions and late start favored Pulse Seed Coat; an early start could potentially mask any boost at emergence. However, this trial demonstrated the potential upside with this product, and further commercial demonstrations this season will seek to confirm this season’s result. If you want to try Pulse Seed Coat for yourself, it is available from your local Landmark reseller.
How to apply Pulse Seed Coat:
- Shake well before use as the seaweed component can settle
- Mix thoroughly with peat inoculants (if using) before applying to seed
- Can be applied alone onto seed or with fungicide
- Application Timing: Seed cleaning or sowing. No issue with seed being stored in silo after application
- Can use in-furrow with a liquid system. Seed coating is more beneficial on light soils as it ensures the seed has access to the nutrients
- Compatible with Apron, Vibrance, Tebuconazole
- No issue with most fungicides, however consult your local Landmark Agronomist before use to confirm
- Available at your local Landmark
- Very economical per hectare
- 20L and 1000L drums available
- Application rate of 5 L/t of seed
- Can use in-furrow with a liquid system
- Will not replace the introduction of rhizobia to paddock, enhances numbers.