Protocol Development Tool (PDT) for seed encrusting and pelleting
Seed encrusting and pelleting are seed coating technologies that increase seed size and weight, improving handling, consistency in seed delivery and providing active ingredients for seed protection and enhancement. Though widely used for crop and vegetable seeds, with an estimated value of more than a billion dollars per annum globally, the know-how and methodologies are rarely disclosed by the commercial seed industry sector. As a result, it is difficult to reproduce specific seed coatings for research and comparative evaluation. For small seed producers, particularly the emerging native seed sector, seed enhancement technologies are either unavailable or rarely adopted due to their inaccessibility. Here, we present the first fully disclosed Protocol Development Tool (PDT) for seed pelleting and encrusting. The PDT is customisable, applicable to a wide range of agricultural, horticultural and restoration purposes, and adaptable to suit a variety of seeds and coating materials. The PDT will allow researchers and seed suppliers to test and develop project-specific pelleting and encrusting methods within a standardised and replicable framework.