Feb 2021

SEED: The secrets in the detail…


All farmers use plenty of it

We see it everywhere

Seed is seed

Its simple stuff, right?

Well – YES and NO… Let me explain:


The secrets in the detailreally?

Is now a good time to be thinking about the detail?


Short answer is YES, now is the time to be thinking about the details of one of your MOST important investments – Pasture

You’d know that pasture is your cheapest form of feed, so lets spare a few minutes to get the details right, to ensure you get the best return on investment.


When I say details I mean:

  • Endophyte
  • Seed Treatments

These are the two major influences on whether each individual seed (which you’ve invested in) survives and thrives.



Argentine Stem Weevil… Black Beetle – just to put them out there.

What a curse!

We cant ignore them, just because we can’t always see them.

As covered in the previous article – ASW is still NZ’s biggest pasture pest.


All we can say, is be aware of them – and make your seed decision wisely when it comes to Endophyte.

As always, your region will also influence the endophyte you choose, so please don’t be scared to reach out for help.


Be mindful:

  • Always check the endophyte status on seed at purchasing to ensure the level is correct. We hold these for all seed lines used, so Smart Farmers can rest in the fact that their seed endophyte levels are optimum.
  • Different endophytes can effect palatability of the ryegrass, which means good management is key.

Please feel free to chat to us more about this.


Below is a table produced by New Zealand Plant Breeding and Research Association (NZPBRA) 22nd September 2020, on Endophytes.

For the full document (



Simple and effective, seed treatment helps pastures through their critical establishment phase by providing protection when its most vulnerable to pests and disease pressure.


At Smart Forage and Pasture, we do our own seed treatments on a fresh customer by customer basis just prior to each order being delivered. No seed is pre-treated in advance of the season.

As you would know – treated seed left overtime will dramatically lower germination vigour.


We have three signature seed treatments as follows:




Prime yourself for a 5% to 20% stronger emergence.

Smart BullletProof maximises plant production potential, establishing the correct fundamentals to drive rapid, healthy plant growth.


Why it works:

No two seeds are precisely the same.  As a seed grows on the parent plant, varying levels of nutrients, energy, and growth hormones are packed into it — all dependent on the plant’s health, the climate and many other variables.

By coating the seed with Bulletproof, we significantly increase the seeds chance of germination and early vigour. Not unlike a new-born animal, the better condition at birth, and the quicker it can access the right nourishment, then the healthier and stronger it grows.


Key Benefits:

  • Increase long-term pasture persistence.  Providing for the best start for all planted seeds solidly establishes plants across the entire sward. This improves the pasture’s ability to endure climate and weather variability and resist insects.
  • Sow 10 to 15% less seed. It’s been done — and enjoyed! The extra grunt Smart BulletProof provides definitely allows you to consider reducing your sowing rates. We suggest you experiment to find your own sweet point — the savings can be substantial!
  • Healthier individual plants.  Without initial germination overcrowding, each plant has less competition for space, moisture and nutrient. This establishes a stronger root foundation that pays off in the long haul.
  • Improve Clover survival rates. Fewer seeds attempting to initially germinate mean more clover plants to survive to adulthood.
  • Increase roots and shoots.  Trial data from more than 1,500 plantings at Hinenui, Gisborne in 2015 shows that Smart BulletProof unequivocally delivers a greater root-to-shoot ratio at 35 days post-planting.  This large sample has enabled extremely precise and reliable analysis.


Trial Results:

  • Increase in Dry Matter of 33.1% with the first cut of grass (as compared to control)
  • Increase in Dry Matter of 9.9% with the second cut of grass (as compared to control)
  • Plus more to come…


Please note: this is a very quick overview of Smart Bulletproof – we have a lot more information and trail data available, so please get in touch to find out more.




As you might have guessed the “I” stands for Insecticide (Imidacloprid).

It is a systemic insecticide  which has good protection on  seedlings against Argentine Stem Weevil, Grass Grub, and Black Beetle.


So why would you need SCI seed treatment if you have a good Endophyte?

Great question – Seed treatment basically bridges the gap, protecting the seedlings until the Endophyte becomes fully active in the plant.




Smart Hi-Flow treated seed is:

  • Dust Free
  • Has a fine glossy surface which enables even seed spread
  • Ultra-thin film coat to promote early germination


Other build-up types of coating will create a thick shell around the seed, which can prove difficult for the seed to break out of at germination when conditions are anything but wet.

Smart Hi-Flow allows you to have more seeds per kg – more opportunities for increased plant numbers!


Often used along with Smart BulletProof and SCI treatments.


If in doubt – please feel free to contact the Smart team about your situation.

We are keen to help!



Thanks for your time, all the best,

The Smart Team