Farmer Designed Products began as a DIY project with a simple goal: to create a cost-effective seed treater. After attending farm shows and exploring various on-farm treating systems in 2018-2019, I quickly realized that existing seed treaters had significant drawbacks. The first hurdle was the high prices associated with some units, followed by the issue of contractual obligations. These drawbacks directly contradicted my objective of reducing input costs. Despite my limited knowledge of seed treating, I firmly believed that it did not require complex technology. Fueled by this belief, I ordered parts and embarked on designing my own unit.

The first step was developing an accurate metering device. Considering the various ways farmers already meter seed, I decided to utilize a grain drill-style meter. Once the metering mechanism was determined, I focused on finding the most durable and reliable method for coating the seeds. After considering numerous ideas, I settled on a paint-like nozzle that utilizes air to fan the pattern. This approach eliminates the need for a filter, as anything passing through the meter and hoses will also pass through the nozzle. With metering and coating addressed, the final aspect to tackle was seed delivery.

Reflecting on past experiences with seed tenders, I opted for simplicity and chose a single auger with two bearings instead of a conveyor belt system. Poly cupped flighting, backed by university trials and research, provided reassurance that minimal damage would occur during seed transportation. Armed with these ideas, I set out to design a unit that prioritized simplicity. Additionally, I aimed to create a treater that could operate using a standard 115v 15A outlet, rather than requiring a costly and less flexible 230v 50A setup like many available machines. The result was the “V1” model, which successfully treated my crop throughout the 2020 season.

Initially, my intention was not to pursue automation or mass production for sale. However, after other farmers saw the V1 unit and expressed interest, I realized there was a demand. This led to the development of the V2 model, incorporating improvements based on feedback. The farmers who purchased the V2 units desired automation, prompting me to create a user-friendly interface and incorporate label printing to facilitate easy tracking of treatments. This development allowed for comprehensive side-by-side trials involving biologicals, PGRs, inoculants, fungicides, insecticides, and varying rates.

Throughout the summer of 2021, the automation project progressed, and the new system successfully treated crops in 2022 and 2023. Operating flawlessly, the V3 model emerged from the lessons learned and feedback received. The control system remained unchanged, proving its reliability over the past couple of years. The V3 maintains the high performance of the V2 while minimizing waste and reducing costs for end-users. This journey started with the aim of cost savings, and now, with a well-established infrastructure and resolved supply chain issues, we are excited to offer these seed treaters to the public.

At Farmer Designed Products, we take pride in our journey of innovation and refinement. Our seed treaters embody simplicity, affordability, and effectiveness, providing farmers with a valuable tool for optimizing their seed treatment process. With our reliable and user-friendly solutions, we aim to empower farmers to achieve outstanding results in their fields.