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Investment in state-of-the-art equipment delivers new capabilities for Elsoms Seeds

Recent investments in a state-of-the-art optical seed sorter and a new pan pelleter extend the seed processing and enhancement capabilities of Elsoms Seed Technology department. One of the leading seed treatment specialists in the UK, Elsoms uses a range of technologies to ensure the highest seed quality. These same services are also available on a contract basis allowing others to benefit from our expertise and equipment.

“High quality, clean seed is the foundation of healthy crop cultivation and can help growers maximise germination rates and yields in the face of declining chemical use,” observes Rae Cook, Head of Seed Technology. “The seed enhancement services we offer can therefore deliver substantial value.”

Optical seed sorting: fast, efficient, and precise  

The new Sortex machine sorts seed on the basis of colour and shape at up to 350 kg/hr. Capable of applying multiple parameters simultaneously, it has sufficient sensitivity to differentiate seeds that are shades of the same colour. The result is very precise cleaning and sorting, markedly upgrading the quality of seed lots. Damaged, immature, or contaminating seeds, and other foreign contaminants can all be detected and removed with a high degree of confidence.

“Sorting seeds is a cost-effective way of preventing problems down the line,” said Phillip Ayres, Technical Manager. “For example, using this sorter we can remove ergot, a fungus that affects cereals, and many noxious weeds. This means less reliance on herbicides, supporting IPM (integrated pest management) strategies, and/or less weeding, notably for organic growers. Pure seed is also critical for development and breeding work.”

The sorter is suitable for use with all types of seed including cereals, vegetables, and horticultural crops and represents an excellent solution for those looking for seed of the highest purity.

Specialised pelleting for high value seed

The new pan pelleter is designed to handle very small volumes of specialist/high value seed. Processing is operator intensive and highly skilled, and produces bespoke pelleted, coated seed of highly consistent quality. The finest seeds can be converted into easily handled products that drill readily and are optimally formulated for germination and early growth. Plant Protection Products and biostimulants can easily be added during this pelleting process.

“Pan pelleting allows operators to fine tune multiple parameters to refine the properties of the finished seed,” said Phillip, “but it’s a skilled job. This new unit adds to our existing pelleting capabilities and is ideal for valuable products such as flower, tree, and herb seeds. Elsoms work with customers to apply a “branded” coating that will simultaneously make seed visible on the ground or  suitable for individual precision planting, to reduce the waste associated with thinning.”

To find out more about the new equipment, the services on offer from the Seed Technology team and how they can help you, please: visit