Seed treatments, dressings and coatings can be used as a successful tool in pest management. These methods are agro-friendly since they target the pests and diseases with smaller amounts of active ingredients and are not introduced into the atmosphere. In many cases, without the use of seed treatment, growers would have great difficulty in controlling certain seed-borne and early season seedling pests and diseases and would have to resort to more expensive and less environment-friendly methods.
The mid-1600’s mark the first recorded seed treatment using sap from onion, extract of cypress, and salt water. The first copper products were introduced in the mid-1700’s. Arsenic was used from 1740-1808 followed by mercury, used from 1915-1982.
The first systemic fungicide product was launched in 1968, which covered the seed surface and moved into the plants protecting the young seedlings from airborne pathogens. Since the 1990’s the seed treatment industry has been expanding pest control while reducing user and environmental impact.