Seed Type Glossary
Below are the most common seed types on the market. All the listed treatments are completely safe for planting and eating the vegetables grown from them.
The treatment may be hot water, chemical, or biological, depending on the pathogen involved. Treatment is applied under controlled conditions, in a commonly recognized fashion, at the manufacturer’s recommended rate.
Treated seed is usually a bright color to help growers easily distinguish it from other seeds. Seed treatments typically breakdown in the soil within 10-14 days.
Some of our seed packages are labeled "DO NOT USE SEED FOR FOOD, FEED OR OIL". The seed itself is not edible, however vegetables and fruit grown from treated seed are most certainly safe and suitable for eating. In fact, many commercial growers use treated seed in their vegetable and fruit production since it improves the performance of the seed and seedling. Much of the non-organic produce in grocery stores and farmers' markets is grown using treated seed.
Standard Cruiser Treated
Insect Guard treated corn seed is treated with Cruiser, a protectant with numerous benefits.
1. Protects against flea beetles up to the five true-leaf (V5) stage, lessening transmission of Stewart’s Bacterial Wilt.
2. Minimizes stand loss due to wireworm, seed corn maggot, and other
secondary pest damage.
3. Provides contact and systemic protection.
4. Pre-treated seed provides efficient and easy-to-use seedling protection against insect pests. Please note, does not protect against corn borer or earworm.
FarMore Treatment offers a first line of defense against several key seed and seedling diseases and insects. The industry standard formulation of Cruiser® 70WS insecticide and three fungicides, Apron XL®, Maxim®4FS, and Dynasty® protect seeds prior to, during, and immediately following germination and emergence.
Broad Spectrum Disease Protection
Proven field performance against:
• General damping-off and seed blight
• Fusarium spp.
• Pythium spp.
• Rhizoctonia spp. (including post emergence protection)
Excellent Insect Protection
Early-season insect protection can reduce the possibility of insect-vectored diseases. FarMore provides excellent protection against Striped Cucumber Beetles for approximately 21 days after germination occurs.
Performance and Convenience
• Early season protection against disease and Cucumber Beetles
• Broad-spectrum protection in variable environmental conditions
• Enhanced disease protection gets crops off to a healthy start to maximize yield and quality potential
• Treatment is delivered in the bag, on the seed, to ensure proper application and convenience
Filmcoated seed has been coated with an inert, food-grade material for easier handling and flowability. When treated seed is filmcoated, the filmcoat helps the treatment adhere to the seed.
Certified Organic Growers: Filmcoat ingredients are not OMRI Listed.
Untreated seed is clean and has not been treated using any chemical, biological, or physical method. While untreated seed can be grown under organic conditions, the seed crop was not grown under Certified Organic Conditions.
Untreated seed is a popular alternative to organic seed.
Certified Organic Growers: Untreated seed may be allowed in Certified Organic production, provided that a comparable variety is not available in Certified Organic seed. Check with your certifying agency for approval. Pellet ingredients for pelleted untreated seed (product numbers ending in 11-02) are not approved for use in Certified Organic production.
Seed in its “raw” form, comes in from the parent plant, is clean and has not been treated using any chemical, biological, or physical method.
Organic seed is clean and untreated, and it was grown and harvested under Certified Organic conditions. Organic seed is allowed for use in Certified Organic production.
Many home gardeners use organic seed for their vegetable and flower gardens.
Pellet ingredients for pelleted organic seed (product numbers ending in 11-03) are NOP approved for use in Certified Organic production.
Pelleted seed has been coated with an inert material in order to increase the seed size for easier planting.
Small seeds, such as lettuce, are frequently pelleted to increase the size of the seed, allowing growers to have more control over where the seed is planted.
The trick to germinating pelleted seed is to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. The water will either dissolve the coating or crack it open, allowing the seed to sprout. If the pelleted seed doesn’t get enough water, the coating remains intact around the seed, preventing the seed from accessing water or other essential nutrients.
To ensure an even higher rate of germination, use a plastic dome or sheet over the top of your trays to better maintain a humid environment. Certified Organic Growers: Pellet ingredients are not OMRI Listed. Pellet ingredients for pelleted untreated seed (product numbers ending in 11-02) are not approved for use in Certified Organic production. Pellet ingredients for pelleted organic seed (product numbers ending in 11-03) are NOP approved for use in Certified Organic production.
In multi-pelleted seed, the pellet contains more than one seed. One pellet will create multiple plants.
Primed seed has been primed for easier germination, through a physical processes like steam treatment or through chemical treatment.
Certified Organic Growers: Priming processes vary by seed type and supplier. Contact us for more information, and check with your certifier for guidance on using primed seed.
Fibrous “tails” have been removed from seeds for easier handling and flowability. This may be achieved through either a physical or chemical process.
Certified Organic Growers: Detailing processes vary by seed type and supplier. Contact us for more information, and check with your certifier for guidance on using detailed seed.
MTO = Mosaic Tolerance Zero. Lettuce has been tested for Lettuce Mosaic Virus and no virus was detected in a sample of 30,000 seeds.
Biotech (Sweet Corn)
What is Biotech Sweet Corn and how is it different from conventional varieties?
Biotech sweet corn has been bioengineered to exhibit specific traits that are not found in conventional varieties, including resistance to insect pests and tolerance to specific formulations of herbicide. These traits result in plants with strong inherent protection to insect pests, particularly lepidoptera species, with reduced use of insecticides, as well as greater flexibility in weed management.
How It Works - Insect Protection
Proteins derived from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), are effective in controlling lepidopteran insect pests because when consumed these proteins bind to the insect’s mid-gut membrane and create pores that ultimately result in insect death. Biotech sweet corn has been developed to produce these proteins, and effectively resist damage from several insect pests. The exact spectrum of control of these insects depends on the traits of each specific variety.
How It Works - Herbicide Tolerance
Broad-spectrum herbicides provide excellent control of weeds in a variety of crop production systems; however, their use is limited in Sweet Corn production due to the risk of crop damage. Certain Biotech Sweet Corn varieties can tolerate the active ingredients of these herbicides by breaking down the chemistries involved into non-effective components. Therefore, chemistries such as glyphosate and glufosinate can be applied for weed control without causing unintended harm to the crop. The exact tolerance to herbicide compounds depends on the traits of each specific variety.