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Canadian Seedcare Experts visit Australia

two people smiling in front of trees

Recently, the Syngenta Australian Seedcare team hosted two Canadian seed care experts, Craig Roberts, owner of Chinook Seed Treaters, Lethbridge, Alberta and Shad Millington, Syngenta Seedcare Specialist for southern Alberta.

There are many similarities between the Canadian and Australian markets, with the key crops being wheat, barley, canola and pulse is both countries.

VIBRANCE® and CRUISER® are leading brands in both markets, in each case giving excellent control of seed borne diseases (VIBRANCE) and sucking insect pests (CRUISER). The formulations differ, but the messages are similar, especially around having clean seed and excellent product coverage.

Craig and Shad traveled extensively throughout the Australian cereal region with David Hosking, National Seedcare Specialist, visiting a number of mobile seed cleaners & treaters, and several seed sheds. 

During their travels, Shad and Craig presented to many groups including independent seed grader groups, Baker Seeds, the Hannaford Seed Cleaning network, Landmark SeedShield and presented at the Independent Association of Seed Graders (IASG) National Conference.

Feedback from the workshop participants was really positive.

“Shad’s presentation really highlighted to our team how important it is to have seed prepared the best way it can be before products are applied.

“We were impressed with Shad’s presentation and as a result our team now has a greater knowledge on seed care products, especially VIBRANCE, which is what we are commonly applying,” said one participant.

Craig shared his experience treating seed in Canada (he only treats, and does not clean, unlike most of the Australian customers who both clean and treat). Craig focused on the challenges that he faces not only in applying seed treatment products, but also in running a large team, and dealing with a big farmer customer base.

Craig Roberts addressing the IASG meeting

Shad and Craig also attended the Independent Association of Seed Graders’ annual conference held in Launceston, Tasmania. The 80 seed graders present found that many of the challenges Shad and Craig talked about were very similar to their own.

For Craig, it was a great opportunity to talk to like-minded business people who clean seed in addition to treating.

“They can’t do what I do, and I can’t do what they do. Our businesses are similar, but the machinery set up is different, and so too are the farmer practices, mainly due to the very cold weather we have in Canada prior to planting – we just don’t have the same amount of time as the Australians, and have to compress our work into a very small timeframe,” Craig said.