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Volatile Weather and Seed Coatings - Summit Seed Coatings

Volatile Weather, Drought, and How Seed Coatings Can Help

January 2, 2024

Ag tech is rapidly innovating and growing in the many ways it can help our farmers. Unfortunately, the problems plaguing and challenging farmers in this day and age are accelerating and worsening just as quickly: including increasingly unpredictable and volatile weather events, drought, and much more.

Our farmers already work so hard. Now, they are tasked with growing successfully in the face of turbulent climate and weather events that cannot be controlled or predicted. Here’s the skinny on volatile weather, drought, and how seed coatings can help— and other ways growers are observing and learning how to adapt.

Drought is becoming a more common occurrence – according to farmers.

While there’s still controversy around the science behind climate, farmers say they are feeling it. Drought is becoming increasingly more common and severe, and lasting for longer periods of time, according to those on the ground— and dryland farmers in arid regions have noticed it the most.

Without the right advancements, tools, and technology to help producers adapt to growing dryness, certain crops in areas that depend solely on rainfall for irrigation may become less and less viable, pressuring farmers to change their ways. Corn, soy, wheat, grains, and many other crops are slowly joining this list in areas where irrigation systems would need massive and expensive overhaul— or installation in the first place— for farmers to continue growing what they grow best. Other technologies, however, are needed in the meantime and for the future to help growing professionals to transition.

Unpredictable weather, and volatile weather events, are also becoming more common.

Drought isn’t the only weather issue putting pressure on already high-pressured farmers and producers. Weather patterns of all types and factors are becoming less predictable and more intense— causing growers of all kinds to lose revenue and future financial security.

High precipitation fluctuations and un-forecasted weather disasters like storms, hurricanes, floods, and even unseasonal hard freezes are keeping farmers even more on their toes as usual. While drought and extreme heat can impact crop health and yields, so can the opposite: torrential downpours can leave seeds and young crop seedlings more vulnerable to disease and failure.

Besides providing insurance or subsidies for growers in disaster areas to recuperate from crop and revenue losses, there is very little else in the realm of agricultural technology to help farmers become more resilient growers where non-drought-related weather disasters are concerned.

How have farmers adapted to these challenges in the past?

Drought is not a new challenge to farmers. That said, the risk and challenges it creates are becoming more difficult to navigate with every season— which calls for new approaches and technologies to secure farmer successes.

In the past farmers have adapted to drought challenges in drastic and costly ways: including moving current operations or establishing new ones in areas that receive more access to surface or groundwater, or to less arid regions. Transitioning to more drought resistant crops and completely shifting enterprises and markets has also helped— along with changing planting windows and planting much earlier to cope.

But even these adaptations create only a temporary or limited window of time to bolster resilience— especially as drought squeezes in on areas where drought was not common before, and progressively exacerbates drought conditions in already drought-prone areas. For this reason, protecting grower outcomes demands more from the ag tech industry and fostering new production approaches altogether.

Advanced irrigation technology that helps both meter and measure water usage, while also streamlining and boosting irrigation efficiency, has helped cut down costs while amplifying yields— but, so far, only to a limited degree. Growers are also learning and adopting more regenerative farming approaches that increase soil health, carbon sequestration, and soil microbes and organic matter, which are all shown to improve drought tolerance in the crops grown in such soils and help farmers get by.

And yet, farmers are still hungry for new technologies that could help them get by.

How seed coatings improve upon weather adaptation agricultural technologies

Most farmers can’t afford to move their operations or establish new branches of them— and even more farmers would rather not change their crop specialties and pivot to new markets, especially if they have diversified extensively already to cope with volatile weather.

Advancements in irrigation technology can certainly help, but may also be costly up front—especially if producers are growing in regions where irrigation was not previously needed. Growers need more affordable and widely accessible technologies that can help meet the production needs of these hard times…and that’s where seed coatings come in.

Simple yet rapidly evolving to cater to today’s marketplace, seed coatings provide many solutions to the weather-related hardships producers are facing.

What seed coatings may offer:

  • “Water wicking” technology that keeps moisture close to seed surfaces, even through drought, while optimizing irrigation use and costs to maintain germination rates

  • Moisture-shielding technology in cases where extreme rainfall or flooding occurs— keeping only the right amounts of moisture in, and excess moisture out to protect against disease and rot

  • Microbially inoculated seed coatings that help enhance the soil health around seeds right as they are planted, thereby boosting their growth and resiliency through drought

Get in touch with the Summit Seed team to learn more about our technology options and products today!

seeds with seed coatings being planted by hand in soil

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