Known for its multi-commodity seed enhancement, Germans Seed Technology offers a variety of treatments for both conventional and organic onion seeds for more than 250 dealers, breeders and growers across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The company, founded in Los Angeles by Swiss immigrant Eugene Germain 1871, began its seed treatments in California and other Western states with sugar beets nearly a century ago. Germains revolutionized how sugar beets were planted by introducing one of the first seed pellet technologies to the agriculture industry.
“Our in-depth knowledge of the sugar beet industry and dedication to research and development has allowed Germains to invest in and diversify our portfolio. Today we offer seed treatments for over 20 vegetable species, including onions,” said Stacy Hasegawa,
sales and marketing coordinator for the company’s North American Horticulture Production/Research and Development facility in Gilroy, CA.
The company also has facilities in Fargo, ND, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Spain.
Stacy told OnionBusiness.com that Germains has been offering seed treatments for onions for more than 30 years, and she said, “At this time we offer onion priming, encrustments, pelleting and a number of seed applied crop protection products for both conventional and organic cultivation practices.”
Onion priming, Stacy said “improves the speed of germination and… uniformity in the seed lot.” She added, “In simple terms, priming means that we imbibe the seed with our proprietary formulation which activates the seed’s germination.”
She went on to say that “a majority of growers use pelleting technology to aid in machine plant ability,” and she explained, “These days more and more complex materials are being used by Germains which assist in seed germination through better water and or nutrient uptake. Seed applied pesticide applications such as FarMore® or Coronet® are frequently applied to combat soil-borne pathogens and insect pressure. We pay very close attention to binder concentrations to ensure all pesticides are secure on the seed and unwanted dust off is mitigated.
Working with individual customers, Germains offers solutions specific to their needs.
“The treatments we apply are always determined by either the grower or dealer based on their cultivation practices, planters, and disease/insect pressures,” she said. Along with its core technologies of priming and pelleting, Germains offers a variety crop protection products, both conventional and organic, specific to the disease or insect pressure the grower might be experiencing.
“In essence, every onion order processed at Germains Seed Technology is customized to meet the needs of the growers which are always subject to change,” she said.
For the organic customer base, Stacy said the Gilroy facility received its certification by the Agriculture Services Certified Organic (ASCO) in 2009. “Currently, we offer 19 certified organic treatments for variety of vegetables, seven of which are for onions,” she said.
Approximately 20 percent of the onions Germains processes utilize its organic seed technologies, and Stacy said that figure has remained stable in recent years.
The newest product introduced by Germains is called goseed®, and Stacy said, “Essentially, it is a seed technology that focuses on early onion plant nutrition, even before the plant emerges from the ground.” The object, of course, is “larger seedlings with increased foliage, enhanced root development, improved vigor that may contribute to an increase in yield.”
And what’s next? “Our R&D projects and future product development are based on inquiries we receive from growers who are seeking solutions for problems they are experiencing in the field,” Stacy said. “We are always open to meet with them and explore possible seed treatment solutions. We find that this is the best way to develop new seed technologies.”