Promising Trial Results from Pulse Seed Coat

17th April 2019

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 concept in the WA market, and as such, we thought we should validate interstate results by trialling it in our own conditions. Following good results in South Australia, we trialled some at Kulin WA this year.

The Pulse Seed Coat formulation includes zinc, manganese, molybdenum, a seaweed extract and Foundation LM. This combination serves to improve emergence of the crop, including improved early root growth, by giving the rhizobia a valuable food source and the young plant a 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).

 

 

Evaluation in Kulin, WA:

Based on the results in South Australia, we decided to test the efficacy of Pulse on lupins in the Kulin area of Western Australia. At time of sowing, 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 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, the 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 of this trial are very positive. The early dry conditions and late start favoured the Pulse treatment; an early start could potentially mask any boost at emergence. However, this trial demonstrated the potential upside with this product, and further commercial demonstrations in the 2019 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 to seed:

  • Shake well and stir thoroughly before use (some settling of the kelp component can be expected).
  • Mix thoroughly with peat inoculants (if using) before applying to seed
  • Can be applied alone onto seed or with most fungicides*
  • Application Timing: Seed cleaning or sowing. 
  • Seed coating is more beneficial on light soils, as it ensures the seed has access to the nutrients

 

Compatibility: 

  • Compatible with Apron, Vibrance, Tebuconazole
  • *While compatible with inoculants and common pulse fungicides, it is known to be physically incompatible with P-Pickle T*
  • Consult your local Landmark Agronomist before use to confirm

 

Summary:

  • Available at your local Landmark store
  • Application rate if 5L/tonne of seed
  • Very economical, approx. $1.75 - $3.50/ha depending on seeding rate
  • Can use in-furrow with a liquid system
  • Applied to Pulse seed
  • Will not replace the introduction of rhizobia to a paddock, designed to support native rhizobia numbers
  • Available in 20L drums