PACIFIC Seeds officially opened a new, $700,000 seed treatment plant today at its headquarters in Toowoomba, south-east Queensland, where it produces and markets summer and winter crop seeds.
The new facility, which was built by Graintech Engineering in Ballarat, Victoria, replaces a plant that was nearly 17 seasons old.
Advanta Seeds managing director, Nick Gardner, said the upgrade of the plant improved the accuracy of chemical application and ensured the maximum benefit of seed treatment in protecting growing crops.
“The plant is capable of bringing new treatment options to the market in the future as the opportunity presents,” he said.
“Twenty years ago we hardly sold any treated seed. Now, 99 per cent of the seed we sell is treated and the technology and benefits of the seed treatment has improved and is now well understood by farmers.”
Mr Gardner said the main advantages of the new plant were:
- Better seed coating giving better coverage of the seed. The chemical is less likely to rub off.
- Improved accuracy in chemical application and less waste of chemical.
- The ability to apply chemical and powder in layers to increase the efficiency of the treatment.
- The use of much less water in the process, reducing the amount of gas that is needed to dry the seed after treatment by 30 to 40 per cent.
- Staff having much less exposure to seed treatment. They have no need to mix treatments before application, which used to occur.
Mr Gardner said the new plant fitted into the existing seed storage and processing line at Toowoomba.
The site has approximately 5000 tonnes of bulk storage and 2500 tonnes of bagged storage.
Annually, it processes and transports between 7000 and 8000 tonnes of seed to markets in Australia and around the world.
The company’s seed is produced from Kununurra in the north of Western Australia to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area and Tasmania in the south. The majority of that seed comes to Toowoomba for quality control, processing, treatment and packaging.
(Pacific Seeds is the Australian arm of global company, Advanta Seeds)