A more sustainable and eco-conscious method of treating vegetable seeds is the focus of a multi-partner research project involving a UK seed producer and Bangor University. Tozer Seeds have linked up with the university’s Biocomposites Centre to develop alternative seed treatments which are aiming to control the disease as well as improve suitable characteristics for germination and crop establishment.
The 18-month project, funded via the UK Government’s Farming Innovation Pathways program, will see celery, parsnip, and coriander seeds treated with lasers and natural bioactive compounds.
The strategies are aiming to not only disinfect seeds of disease-causing pathogens, which can lead to large volumes of wasted crops, but improve the rate of germination, seeding establishment, growth rate, and crop yield.
Bangor University’s Biocomposites Centre has assisted the development of the proposed treatments, with an initial focus on optimizing the strength of the bioactive compound and the power and treatment time of the laser. The first round of testing and laboratory work is currently underway, with the most promising seed treatments to be evaluated by grower partners which form part of Surrey-based Tozer Seeds’ supply chain.
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