With spring around the corner, thoughts of preparing for planting season are undoubtedly on everyone’s mind. And with the arrival of planting season comes many beneficial insects foraging around fieldedges. Fluency Agent from Bayer CropScience is a new seed flow lubricant for corn and soybeans that are treated with neonicotinoids. It is a replacement for talc, graphite and talc/graphite blended products. Fluency Agent reduces the amount of insecticide active ingredient released in treated seed dust during planting by 65%, therefore reducing the risk of exposure to non-target insects, including bees.
With this being the first spring that Fluency Agent is being used, we have prepared a list for Frequently Asked Questions to help you get more acquainted with the product;
1. I heard I need to mix the Fluency Agent in the hopper. How much stirring is required?
If your planter has individual hopper units, a quick stir with a gloved hand, hockey stick etc. is enough to distribute the product.
If your planter is centre-filled, add the Fluency Agent as the seed unit is filling. No stirring required!
2. I have talc left over from last year, can I use that up first?
Choosing to use Fluency Agent over talc, graphite and talc/graphite blends is the environmentally responsible thing to do. Seed flow lubricants cost pennies per acre. It would be disappointing to hear that growers would prefer to save a dollar or two rather than making decisions that are beneficial to bees.
3. What other options do I have if I don’t want to use Fluency Agent?
If you are using a seed flow lubricant, PMRA has stated that it is mandatory to use Fluency Agent.
4. Will Fluency Agent perform as well as talc, graphite and talc/graphite blended products?
In 2013, Fluency Agent was tested on 13,000 acres in a variety of planters including; Kinze, Case, John Deere and White planters. In spring of 2014 several dealerships have tested Fluency Agent on various types of equipment with positive results.