Seed meets Technology is over. We already did a tour on Tuesday, on day 1 of the three-day international seed technology fair. We have already published the report of that day. The photos are now also online.
Johan Kos of host Vertify and Dimmie Vervorst-Haakman of Syngenta. Johan expressed his pleasure that the fair is also a kind of reunion for 'old warriors from the trade.' We already referred to this in yesterday's report.
After Eric van de Zilver from MolGen talked about brewing, we were immediately fascinated. That it ended up being about brewing beer with tricoderma fungi made the story less palatable but no less interesting. MolGen is betting on coating seeds with the fungus, putting the fungus in exactly the right place (near the root) for the crop to benefit.
Walter Hermans of Cremer Special Machines is happy, as a satisfied user of his seed counting machines came along in the form of Ivonne Vlaar of Syngenta.
Rick Lubbers and Pieter van Duin of Wing Seed with the new tomato variety Nightshade F1. The 'black' tomatoes of this variety taste better compared to previous versions. The variety was introduced in 2021 and is now well received in the market.
"It is nice to see how the fair is also a bit of a reunion of 'old warriors' in the trade," Vertify director Johan Kos said towards the end of Day 1 of Seed meets Technology.
Notable on Day 1 was that more people from all over the world visited the fair than in the two COVID years when it was held in modified form. To the satisfaction of exhibitors, including many returning companies but also newcomers, Day 1 was busier than last year. Wednesday, the 28th of September, promised to be the busiest day. There are no longer really any COVID restrictions, although some companies were inconvenienced by canceled flights at Schiphol Airport.
With Vertify's greenhouses in the background, the fair was not really about the energy crisis, although it was discussed over a sandwich and soup in the well-appointed free catering facilities. Sometimes busy gesticulating, the international guests were explained how all kinds of companies are facing vastly increased costs.
When asked, exhibitors indicated that energy was not really a topic in their conversations with visitors. If it was about costs at all, it was about the cost of a new machine and how automation could take away some of the also skyrocketing labor costs. "Do people want to count and sort seeds all day at all?" one of the exhibitors rightly wondered.
Besides offering a solution to the labor issue, the exhibitors were also happy to talk about how their equipment improves seed germination, among other things, or can sort seeds much more accurately by color, weight, or with vision technology. What helps here, a smiling other exhibitor pointed out, is that "margins in the seed industry are quite wide." "Companies keep innovating and don't stand still," he said.
Laws and regulations
Another topic recurring annually at the fair is laws and regulations. What is still allowed with seed coatings, and what is not? What is certain is that chemicals are increasingly being banned, at least in Europe, and that microplastics are going the same. People in the rest of the world are also noticing this trend, which is why people there were already informed about seed treatment alternatives at the fair, to name but one.
There is still some doubt about what exactly the deadlines are for when something is no longer allowed, according to conversations at the fair. Abolition dates have been circulating for years and have also changed quite a bit. However, one of the stands had it black and white: 2028 is a year to keep an eye on because that is when microplastics in seed coatings will be banned in Europe. However, more and more companies are already anticipating this now, they were told. And that anticipation through innovation was actually evident throughout the fair.