Fluency Agent

Overview


Important notice for the 2016 Planting Season



When using a seed flow lubricant with neonicotinoid treated corn or soybean seed, only a dust-reducing fluency agent is permitted. (PMRA - March 2015)

 

Fluency Agent is a seed lubricant for corn and soybeans from Bayer. It is a replacement for talc, graphite and talc / graphite blended seed lubricants.

Fluency Agent reduces the amount of insecticide active ingredient released in treated seed dust during planting by 65%, therefore reducing the risk of exposure to non-target insects, including bees.

To ensure that grower practices help promote agricultural sustainability, we encourage growers to follow these tips:

C Communicate planting activities to neighboring beekeepers when practical and be aware of beehives adjacent to the planting area.
A Be aware of wind speed and direction during planting, particularly in areas with flowering crops.
R Reduce risk to pollinators by eliminating or reducing flowering weeds in fields when practical.
E Ensure seed is planted correctly. To help protect the environment, clean planters and seed boxes in a way to minimize dust release and ensure treated seed is planted at the proper depth.

To read more about Fluency Agent, download the presentation here. (PDF - 2.20 MB)

For more information about the Bayer Bee Care program visit CropScience.Bayer.ca.

Application Tips


Carefully follow use directions for this seed flow lubricant.

Application Tips



  • Use 1/8 cup per seed unit - DO NOT OVER APPLY!
    • For sweet corn, up to 1/4 cup can be used
  • Always stir or mix the product into the seed.  Make sure the Fluency Agent is dispersed and not clumped together. Mixing should not take more than 30 seconds
  • Centre fill planters
    • Add Fluency Agent to the tote before filling the planter box
    • Mix Fluency Agent into the seed to make sure that it does not clump before emptying the tote into the planter
  • Use in all makes and types of seed equipment that recommend the use of a seed lubricant

 

For more information about Fluency Agent from Bayer contact your Bayer sales representative or talk to your seed supplier.

Rates of Application  
Crop Application Rate Seed Unit Size  Application Rate Per Single Seed Unit
Corn 1/8 cup 80,000 seeds  8 grams
Soybeans 1/8 cup 140,000 seeds  8 grams

 

Fluency Agent was rated as equal to or better than other seed flow lubricants. -2013 in field research on 13,000 acres.

FAQs

What is Fluency Agent? Fluency Agent, from Bayer, is a new corn and soybean seed flow lubricant designed to replace talc, graphite and blended talc/graphite seed flow lubricants. It’s a white polyethylene-wax-based powder designed to reduce dust released during planting. When used and applied as directed, Fluency Agent reduces the potential risk of exposure to pollinators from neonicotinoid treated seed.

Click here to download a copy of Fluency Agent FAQs. (PDF - 6.1 MB)


Q: Why is it important to use?

A: Fluency Agent reduces risk of exposure to bees from active ingredient from neonicotinoid treated seed during planting. It does this by reducing the amount of active ingredient that is released from the planter exhaust. Lab studies showed areduction of 65 per cent when compared to talc. Because of this the PMRA has made it mandatory that Fluency Agent be the only seed flow lubricant used with neonicotinoid treated corn and soybeans.

Q: How will Fluency Agent impact my planting?

A: Fluency Agent will not affect planting. Comments from farmers who participated in field trials were that Fluency Agent performed as well or better than talc, graphite and blended talc/graphite seed flow lubricants.

Q: How much do I use? What is the rate?

A: Proper use rate is important. One 400 g container of Fluency Agent treats 50 units (50 bags) of seed (1 tote or bulk tender unit) or approximately 125 acres of corn. 1/8 of a cup (measured using the green measuring scoop provided) treats one unit (1 bag) of seed. Note: This rate is much lower than talc and graphite and it is important not to over apply as performance will be affected.

Q: Do I have to use Fluency Agent when I plant corn and soybeans?

A: Fluency Agent is a seed flow lubricant the PMRA permits for use with neonicotinoid treated corn and soybean seed.

Q: At what temperature should Fluency Agent be stored?

A: Fluency Agent is very stable, and storage temperature should not be a concern. Bayer has tested the product in many environments, including temperatures common in cold Canadian winters and during hot, sunny days when planter hoppers/containers become very heated. In all cases, the product has remained uniform, and performance has not been altered.

Q: Why aren’t the pails filled up to the top?

A:
Bayer recognizes that a smaller pail/container would be more suitable, but in order to bring Fluency Agent to market on time, this was the best available option.

Q: If I don’t use a seed flow lubricant, do I need to use Fluency Agent?

A: If you do not use a seed flow lubricant, then you do not need to use Fluency Agent. Other cases where Fluency Agent is not required include:
  • farmers not planting neonicotinoid treated seed (for example, seed treated with a fungicide-only seed treatment); and
  • farmers who use a mechanical lubricant only.

For example, farmers not using vacuum planters will often use graphite as a mechanical lubricant, as in the case with planters that use finger pickups. Even though Fluency Agent is not mandated in this case, it has been proven to perform to the same level as graphite. Fluency Agent can be used with all makes and types of planters.

Q: How should farmers apply Fluency Agent when using centre-fill hoppers?
A: When it comes to application, proper distribution of the product is important. In the case of centre-fill hoppers:

a. add Fluency Agent to the tote before filling the planter box
b. mix Fluency Agent into the seed to make sure that it does not clump before emptying tote into the planter


One 400 g container of Fluency Agent treats 50 units (50 bags) of seed (1 tote or bulk tender unit). 1/8 of a cup (measured using the green measuring scoop provided) treats one unit (1 bag) of seed.


Q: How should farmers add Fluency Agent when loading the planter with a tote or Probox?
A: Put Fluency Agent on top of the seed in tote or Probox and disperse it with a stick or a gloved hand to make sure it is not in a clump before emptying into planter.


Q: Why has the PMRA mandated the use of Fluency Agent?
A: Fluency Agent was shown to reduce the potential risk of exposure to pollinators from treated seeds by significantly decreasing the amount of insecticide active ingredient released in treated seed dust during planting.


Q: Does Fluency Agent clump?
A: After testing the product on more than 40,000 acres of corn and soybeans in North America, including 13,000 acres in Ontario and Quebec, Bayer did not have an issue with Fluency Agent “clumping”. Growers should always follow the label and never overuse Fluency Agent or performance will be affected. Make sure to disperse Fluency Agent in the seed.


Q: What is the cost of Fluency Agent?
A: One 400 g container of Fluency Agent is sold at an SRP of $23.99, or approximately 19 cents/acre. One container treats 50 units (bags), or approximately 125 acres of corn.

Fluency Agent is a stewardship initiative for Bayer and the agriculture industry.


Q: Will Fluency Agent work with my make and model of planter?
A: Fluency Agent can be used with all makes and models of planters.


Q: Where can I buy Fluency Agent?
A: Seed companies are distributing the product  and the best time to purchase your Fluency Agent is during
seed pickup. Some equipment dealers may also carry Fluency Agent.

Q: Will Fluency Agent affect planting accuracy?
A: When used according to the label directions, Fluency Agent was rated as equal to or better than other seed flow lubricants. Testing on 40,000 acres in 2013 showed no difference in skips, doubles or drops as compared to talc, graphite or talc/graphite blended seed flow lubricants.

For Pollinator Protection Best Management Practices, go to Health Canada’s pollinator protection page:
www.healthcanada.gc.ca/pollinators

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