American Coatings Association


Industry News, Science and Technology, and Market Insight

New Pigment for Improved Seed Coatings

Coatings don’t just beautify and protect buildings, bridges, ships and airplanes. They improve the performance of industrial machinery and medical implants—and the seeds used to grow many types of valuable crops. Coatings are used to help reduce dust control and improve the flowability of seeds when they are being handled in large quantities and passed through planting equipment. They also can be designed to positively influence germination and seedling emergence through greater seed to soil contact and seeding survival by serving as effective, highly adhesive carriers for seed treatments (growth stimulants and plant protectants). For fly-over applications of grass seeds from planes, coatings increase the bulk density of the seeds, leading to reduced wind drift and increased accuracy for cover cropping. Differentiation of seed types is also possible using variously colored coatings, such as treated and non-treated seeds.

Even white pigments are important in seed coating formulations. Clariant recently introduced Agrocer White Pigment Preparation at the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA)’s CSS 2016 & Seed Expo event in early December 2016 in Chicago. Based on titanium dioxide, the Agrocer White 006 Dispersion is EPA-compliant and adds hiding power to formulations, making it easier to cover dark seeds, according to Mark Self, market segment manager for Special Applications at Clariant’s Business Unit Pigments. Having access to a high-performing white pigment also makes it possible for formulators of seed coatings to blend a much wider range of custom colors. With the addition of the new pigment, Clariant now offers seven different colorants for the preparation of seed coatings.

The white dispersion is an aqueous pigment preparation that is compatible with all of Clariant’s other seed coating colorants and common seed treatment formulations and coating products. Unlike powdered pigments, according to Self, the water-based Agrocer pigment preparations offer high color strength due to their high solids content and easy disperisiblity, along with faster and more cost-efficient production to agrochemical, seed and seed treatment companies looking for safe, regulatory-compliant solutions for eye-catching, high-value products. They are also easy to handle, readily pumpable for simple dosing and mixing and facilitate the cleaning of production equipment, according to Self. They

The other products in the Agrocer line include Agrocer Red 112, Agrocer Red 482, Agrocer Yellow 1, Agrocer Blue 153, Agrocer Green 007, and Agrocer Violet 023.  All of the Agrocer dispersions are manufactured without using alkyl phenol ethoxylate (APEO) and do not require any hazardous labeling, according to Self. He also notes that they meet the global product specifications of the agrochemical, seed and fertilizer industries and are thus ideal for the formulation of seed coatings intended for global markets. Agrocer White 006 Dispersion is available for sampling to order.