The purchase of an onion seeder happens maybe once in 20 years. So when Ross Draper, from Draper Farms in Keswick, Ontario considered his 2016 investment, it was with an eye to the future.
With 200 acres of onions to plant, he has imported a state-of-the-art Monosem Onion Seeder from the U.S. It has all the usual features such as high-accuracy vacuum seed meters, insecticide meters, operator platform, as well as the advanced Monosem exclusive features such as a seed monitoring system with singulation spacing and population counter, and a unique double-disk opening system. What makes it unique is a diffuser for neonicotinoid insecticides.
“This is a proactive move to be bee-friendly,” says Paul Smith, Northern Equipment Solutions Sales. The regulatory environment is changing so quickly that growers can’t help but take lessons from the Ontario grain farm sector. Luciano Conceicao, general manager at Draper Farms, says, “When purchasing a new onion seeder, Monosem was our only choice because of its innovations and industry leading accuracy. When it was mentioned about a neonic-friendly option for the vacuum, we thought it best to be as proactive as possible.”
Not all onion seed is treated with an insecticide coating to boost germination. Nor do all insecticides contain an active ingredient belonging to the neonicotinoid family. But anticipating sudden regulatory changes is prudent when making long-term equipment purchases.