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The Best Farm Equipment for Working with Coated Seeds

June 23, 2023

What is the best farm equipment for working with coated seeds? How about pelleted, encrusted, or other types of treated seed? Will any farm implement or planter work well with my coated seed purchase?

On the whole, coated seeds generally make planting easier with any type of agricultural planting equipment (the same with pelleted seed). Because that is precisely one of the purposes for which seed coating technology has been engineered: to make the planting process more efficient and cost-effective while minimizing damage to and loss of seed.

Research shows that while agricultural equipment of many types is exceptionally designed to improve planting speed and efficiency, the more the seeding process is sped up with this equipment, the less accurate and precise it gets. This is where coated and pelleted seeds can enter the picture: seed coatings and pelleting provide a cost-effective technology for growers to boost speeds at which they plant with equipment but without needlessly increasing costs, causing damage to viable seed, and losing that plant spacing and accuracy that are so important to successful yields.

Here are some of the best farm equipment for working with coated seeds (or pelleted seeds).

Air seeders

Air seeders blow air using a fan (or fans) into seeder tubes to speed precision planting. The force of this air pushes the seed through your equipment and then down into hoses to be planted and deposited into your field. Air seeder equipment is best for and often used to plant multiple seeds as quickly as possible; it places less mechanical emphasis on individual precise plantings of seeds one at a time.

Air seeder equipment is designed to avoid excess tillage: it marks deep holes and buries planted seeds all as part of its mechanism. These implements are best paired with small seed types like cereal grains, canola, and alfalfa which tend to be either encrusted or coated only. As such, air seeders tend to be the best match with coated seeds all around.


There are a few different types of planters and different mechanisms for how they work with sowing. Basic planters function using gravity only, though other types of planters may speed the planting process along with a belt mechanism, a vacuum mechanism, or sometimes a plate mechanism.

Planters are best for larger seeds such as corn, sugar beets, etc., and are ideal for working through soil that has already been tilled— though planters have heavy duty capabilities for rough terrain as well. These implements precision plant one single seed at a time as part of their mechanism, though some equipment is designed to do this with multiple seeds at a time to speed planting efficiency.

For optimizing precise plant spacing and getting the most control over seeding rates, you’ll want to use a planter for your operation, and this also of course depends on what seeds and crops you grow. Planters all around are a better match for pelleted seeds or larger encrusted or coated seeds though it can depend on the type of planter you use.

Belt planters

Belt planters function using a rotating belt mechanism to plant, which typically works best for large seeds or even transplants— this includes potatoes, garlic, and the like. As for seeds, the mechanism pairs best with seeds that are large and round (corn, main season legumes, etc.). If wanting to use a speedy planter with a smaller type of seed it can help to purchase the seed pelleted, which can make it rounder and larger in size. For some types of pelleted seed it can be a great match, along with large round encrusted or coated seeds.

Vacuum planters

These planters use air suction in order to more quickly and accurately space out seeds as you plant, which can help with optimizing yield outcomes. These are a favorite for use with encrusted seed but they have a wide range of function and mechanism with various seed sizes, making them great for use with some coated and pelleted seed as well.

Plate planters

These implements are the “old school” of planters and use rotating plates to catch, position, and then drop seed for planting. Seed uniformity is a must with the success of these types of planting equipment so opting for pelleted seed can greatly increase your success with these types of planters.

Does any farm equipment not work well with coated seed?

Some ag equipment retailers may say that vacuum planters, in particular, are not an ideal match for seed coating technology. But the technology is quickly changing to accommodate pelleted, encrusted, or coated seeds because they are being so widely adapted to operations owing to their many benefits— and, in fact, some manufacturers of vacuum planters are designed to be paired optimally with seed coating technology.

Seed coatings (along with pelleted seed and encrusted seed to a degree) generally enhance the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of most types of agricultural planting equipment you can use. If you have questions about your seed and whether it will work well in your planting or seeding equipment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Summit— we’d be happy to answer your questions!

seeds with seed coatings being planted by hand in soil

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