Why Robert Drysdale chooses Mn Trio seed treatment for peace of mind and more consistent yields

December 20th 2023

Fielder Seed Treatments Case Study

By choosing Mn Trio to dress his spring barley seed for the last three years, Robert Drysdale has been able to get more reliable yields, save time and have peace of mind that his crop will maximise its potential.

Mn Trio spring barley

Mn Trio a key part of Robert’s programme

Based at Monymusk Estate, straddling the River Don in Aberdeenshire, Robert Drysdale runs three contract farms with a total of over 2,000 hectares between them. Robert, a previous nominee for Farmer’s Weekly “Farm Manager of the Year” as well as AgriScot’s “Farm of the Year”, has been based here for twenty-six harvests, so knows what works for him and his team. He has built up knowledge of where the soils are typically light, as these soils are prone to be more nutrient deficient, resulting in slower establishment and less heathy crops. That is why Fielder’s Mn Trio seed treatment has become a key part of his programme, giving his spring barley the best possible start and providing him with peace of mind.

Benefits of using Mn Trio for Robert

  • More consistent yields
  • Reassurance and peace of mind
  • Puts the 3 key nutrients of Mn + Cu + Zn on the seed from the start
  • Saves him time
  • Cost effective

“I saw they were getting yield benefits from applying Fielder’s Mn Trio”

Robert Drysdale is an advocate of Fielder's Mn Trio

Robert has “always seen the benefit of using manganese”, as, “we see such a visual difference in both how it looks in the field, as well in yield.” So, he was very interested to learn more about some of the local seed treatment trials that McCreath, Simpson & Prentice (MSP) had been running over a six year period. In these trials, “I saw they were getting yield benefits from applying Fielder’s Mn Trio – Manganese + Copper + Zinc – as a seed treatment”.

Backed up by the trials data, and with the seed “being the same price with Mn Trio on it as having straight Manganese, it seemed natural to start to use it. I have now used Mn Trio for three years, there is no downside!”

Addresses the key nutrient deficiencies in Robert’s soils

Tissue sampling is an important part of the programme for Robert, “for us to understand what is happening”. All three nutrients of manganese, copper and zinc continually show up as being deficient in his soils, with “two-thirds of our fields deficient in at least two of those three nutrients.” With light land such as Robert farms, it is common to see manganese, copper and zinc deficiencies linked together, with AHDB calling them out “as the three most common deficiencies in cereals.” The unique formulation of Mn Trio addresses these issues right from the start, giving the young plant nutrients exactly where they are needed, quickly promoting efficient nutrient uptake.

Mn Trio spring barley harvest

By using Mn Trio seed treatment Robert typically can get the benefit of reducing his foliar passes. He is also reassured to know Mn Trio has helped his spring barley because “despite the deficiencies in the soil, when we get to carrying out grain analysis, we can see that all three of these key nutrients are at an appropriate level.”

More consistent yields, as well as saving him time and money

Through using Mn Trio seed treatment, Robert has been able to evolve and improve his growing methods, saving him time, fuel and input costs, as well as helping achieve more consistent yields. In the past, he used to apply “manganese sulphate as part of the pre-em programme. We now see applying the Mn Trio directly to the seed as the way forward. It’s important for me to know that all 3 key nutrients (Mn + Cu + Zn) are already on the seed from the start.”

The major benefit Robert gets from using Fielder’s Mn Trio is consistency. He now has “more consistent yields across different soil types and land quality, with a reduction of in-field yield variations.” This is a significant benefit from being “focussed on getting the right trace elements on the seed from the start.”  

Mn Trio ideal for unpredictable weather

Due to the unpredictable weather conditions Aberdeenshire can have, Robert is no stranger to sowing his spring barley late in the season. He typically can begin in early March, but only last year in spring 2023 he was still drilling as late as the 17th May. When drilling so late Robert has the confidence that the high loading of manganese + copper and zinc in the Mn Trio will mean the newly germinated seedlings have the nutrition needed right from the start, essential for late drilled spring barley. Robert knows he needs “drilling conditions to be as good as possible, as seeds can just sit in the ground and rot if it’s too cold or wet and can fail to germinate if too dry and cloddy”. Therefore, the Mn Trio gives him peace of mind that his crop can grow away unhindered, with the seed treatment immediately available to the plant, irrespective of how late it has been sown.

Effective and Affordable

Given how late Robert drills his spring barley, he can have a seed rate as high as 470 seeds sq / m. Therefore, the cost of using Fielder Mn Trio needs to be justified. Robert is positive what he pays for Mn Trio is a fair cost for the return he receives, with a yield improvement of only 0.04t/ha required to return a profit. Furthermore, he believes that “because the spring barley grows so quickly, spending money on very high value products is not worth the cost”. So Mn Trio strikes an excellent balance as being effective but also great value, especially when using high seed rates.

An insurance policy Robert can rely on

The other major benefit of using Fielder Mn Trio to Robert is the reassurance it brings him. There are times when getting on the land to apply an early foliar nutrient can be impossible, leaving the young plant deficient.

Other times this would involve having to do a separate pass, taking up valuable time from other jobs. Robert expands on this saying, “if T1 is held up, then we have confidence that the nutrient seed dressing will help hold back the deficiencies until later on.” By having that reassurance that the seed is already dressed with the key nutrients saves Robert having to worry and gives him an insurance policy he can rely on.


Robert purchases much of his barley seed from McCreath, Simpson & Prentice (MSP), where Fielder Mn Trio is one of their recommended products to apply on spring barley. Robert likes the malting quartile contract option that McCreath, Simpson & Prentice (MSP) offer, giving him some certainty on the prices he can expect to receive. McCreath, Simpson & Prentice (MSP) are one of the leading agricultural merchants, offering a range of farm inputs including seed, feed and fertiliser. If you are interested in having your seed treated with Mn Trio or another of our Fielder products please reach out to your local seed rep, or contact us at Fielder directly.

How Mn Trio works

  • Mn Trio is the most effective way to eliminate early-season deficiencies of Manganese, Copper and Zinc – giving your crop the best opportunity to maximise yields and reduce your costs.
  • It is a unique combination of nutrients delivering 500g/tonne of Mn, +33% more than New Manganese Solution! Plus a high loading of 50g/tonne of Copper and 25g/tonne of Zinc.
  • Using Fielder Mn Trio speeds up emergence and crop establishment.
  • The special formulation ensures no nutrients are lost to the soil, maximising its efficacy.
  • Increases crop biomass and overall plant health – reducing your input costs and increasing yield potential
  • Can reduce the need to apply early-season foliar manganese
  • Excellent when used as a stand-alone treatment or is fully compatible with all PPP’s on all types of seed.

If you are interested in Mn Trio, or any of our Fielder range, please reach out to Robert directly at robert@fieldernutrition.com and +447912868389, or get in touch with your seed rep.

You can find out more about Mn Trio in the link below