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Drum Priming

University Dept. / Industry Sector HRI / Agribusiness print this page

Relevant Patents GB2192781 / EP0254569
COAP / Company Number 04012/ n/a
Contact Dr. Ederyn Williams
02476 575 482
Web N/A


Drum priming is a low-cost, precise and controlled method of preparing seed so as to hasten its germination once sown, which should result in earlier, heavier and more uniform crops.

Key Features

In this novel method of drum priming, the supply of water to the seeds is controlled by physical rather than osmotic means, limiting the amount of water introduced to the seed. The method enables the priming of much larger quantities of seed than previously been practical and avoids the environmental problems of disposal of the used priming solution. Unlike other methods, priming does not require an oxygen enrichment of the atmosphere, as the free-flowing nature of the process ensures excellent aeration of each seed.


Drum priming may be used successfully on a number of species. Trials utilising this technology cover a number of species including carrots, leeks, tomatoes, peppers, sugar beet, lettuce and flowers. The process is also suitable for organic producers.

Commercial/patent status

The drum-priming process has already been non-exclusively to three companies in Europe. BTG is now seeking further non-exclusive licenses to extend the range of species and geographical territories covered by the process. Patents have been granted in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Canada and USA.

Seed Technology and Its Biological Basis (Sheffield Biological Sciences)  
Michael Black, Derek Bewley