Assessment of the abrasion potential of pesticide-treated seeds using the Heubach test

Ingrid Zwertvaegher, Dieter Foqué, Wouter Devarrewaere, Pieter Verboven, David Nuyttens

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    During sowing of pesticide-treated seeds, pesticide-laden dust and abraded seed particles may be emitted to the environment, possibly leading to environmental contamination and posing health risks. In many countries there is currently no legislation concerning the acceptable amount of dust of treated seeds. This study aimed to gain insight in the abrasion potential of available pesticide-treated seeds and its associated factors. The abrasion potential of 45 seed samples of 7 different species [viz. sugar beet, oat, barley, wheat, spelt, pea, and maize] was determined using the Heubach test and amounts of dust were expressed as g 100 kgseeds-1, g 100,000 seeds-1, and g ha-1. The abrasion potential fell generally within the boundaries of maximum permissible values adopted by different countries. Species, seed treatment company, number of AI’s and combination of AI’s had significant effects on the abrasion potential, whereas little or no effect of agitation and conservation was found. However, species were situated differently with respect to each other depending on the unit in which the abrasion potential was expressed. A standard unit that takes into account the species’ seed rate is suggested to give the fairest assessment of dust drift risk and would allow international comparison.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Pest Management
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)348-359
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 18-Jul-2016


    • T420-agricultural-engineering-agricultural-machines-farmhouse-construction
    • Crop protection
    • Seed treatment
    • Seed coating
    • dust
    • drift
    • seed drilling


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