Yellow Jacket


Barenbrug is recognized as the world leader in innovative grass seed coatings. The Barenbrug advantage in seed coating technology includes the utilization of a worldwide network of research stations to create coatings that enhance seed performance and turf characteristics.


Barenbrug currently markets proprietary coated products in the United States as well as operating coating facilities in Argentina, Australia, China and New Zealand.



 Yellow Jacket is like having a sponge around each and every seed. Once water is applied, the

coating holds moisture and other nutrients around the seed – making them available as needed for germination and establishment. Without coating, the water simply passes the seed allowing it to dry out, resulting in more frequent watering and increased labor and expense.


This spongy layer has additional benefits as well. Yellow Jacket coating increases the density of very light, small bentgrass seed. This makes seeding easier, more accurate and also allows for a more uniform distribution pattern when applied with a seed spreader. Seed stays where it falls due to the extra weight and size and is much more easily seen. When overseeded, the coated seed will move down in the turf faster and easier. Another tremendous benefit is that Yellow Jacket coated bentgrass has enhanced disease protection, unlike uncoated seed.


All these benefits are due in large part to a key component of Yellow Jacket – a super absorbent technology that can hold 600 times its own weight in water. University trials show that superabsorbants can absorb and hold fungicides and protect seedlings up to three weeks after seeding. Fungicide on uncoated seed washes off, quickly limiting their benefit.


The Yellow Jacket formulation also contains Apron XL® (metalaxyl). A new technology turf fungicide that specifically helps prevent Pythium infestation in newly seeded areas, Apron XL preserves root development and significantly increases the survival rate of seedling turf during higher temperatures.


Research trials at the University of New Mexico also show that Yellow Jacket enhanced seed establishes faster and requires less water. Yellow Jacket simultaneously helps the seed thrive while conserving water.


The photo above shows how much faster seed coated with Yellow Jacket (right) grows compared to uncoated seed (left).


Numerous independent university tests have proven grass seed enhanced with Yellow Jacket technology greatly outperforms raw seed.


Now, after several years on the market, Yellow Jacket has proven itself a key to successfully
establishing turf by our customers in some of the most demanding applications. Yellow Jacket can be found on all major cool and warm season grass seed species including tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, annual ryegrass, bentgrass, Kentucky bluegrass and Bermudagrass.

Establishment Of Coated vs. Uncoated Seed - New Mexico State University
Barenbrug conducted two extensive studies on seed coating with Dr. Bernd Leinauer at New
Mexico State University. Bermudagrass coated with Yellow Jacket coating showed improved
germination and establishment over uncoated seed. Graph 1 shows the results from this trial.
The high moisture trial was set at 98 percent of evapo-transpiration while the low moisture
trial was set at 56 percent of evapo-transpiration. This trial work indicated the coated seed
establishes faster and maintains ground cover better than the uncoated seed.


Fungicide Stability On Coated Seed - The Ohio State University
Pam Sherratt, The Ohio State University, conducted trials with multiple grass seed coatings.
Findings show that Yellow Jacket provided multiple advantages, even for fast establishing
grasses like perennial ryegrass and turf type annual ryegrass. Yellow Jacket coated seed was
not as disease prone as the uncoated entries, particularly when the coating contained a
fungicide. In traditional applications fungicides commonly wash off the seed quickly and are
of limited benefit. Barenbrug’s coated seed proved to hold the fungicide longer.


Yellow Jacket Coating Field Study North Carolina State University North Carolina State University conducted a field study to measure the effect of Yellow Jacket seed coating on the germination and establishment of turfgrasses. The germination and establishment conditions in this trial were ideal. Germination blankets were used and ample water was applied for both the coated and uncoated seed. In this trial limited differences were measured in the germination performance of coated and uncoated entries. This trial again shows that Yellow Jacket coating provides the insurance necessary in low moisture and drought conditions to prove its performance in moisture and drought stress conditions. 


Also of interest in this trial is the turf quality data after establishment. Most all coated entries
exhibited improved turf quality compared to uncoated seed. See Graph 2 for the different
turf quality ratings on September 24, during the heat of summer and almost a year after planting.


Several key benefits of Yellow Jacket coating were identified:

  • After establishment was complete coating provided significant improvements in turfgrass density, disease impacts and quality over several rating dates, especially in the perennial ryegrass
  • Coating significantly improved density on 8/27 and 9/24 observation dates
  • Coating treatments improved disease ratings when averaged over two summer ratings dates
  • Coating treatments significantly improved turfgrass quality when averaged over seven rating dates

Controlled Environment Study  - North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University performed trials in a phytotron controlled environment facility
to compare Yellow Jacket coated seed with uncoated seed. The main purpose of this trial
was to look at germination and establishment at different soil moisture levels.


This trial proved that the germination percentage of the Yellow Jacket coated seed (Kentucky
bluegrass) increases dramatically compared to raw seed under limited moisture conditions. Graph 3 shows percentage of seed germination between coated and uncoated seed 28 days after seeding. With Yellow Jacket coated seed germination success rates increase significantly compared to traditional uncoated seed.


Germination Under Saline Conditions - New Mexico State University
A study was conducted at New Mexico State University during fall 2009. A high water salinity concentration was used to determine germination rate of four turfgrass species. The experiment was conducted using AOSA rules for testing seeds. Graph 4 shows the germination percentages measured 30 days after planting. 18,000 ppm (parts per million) is high saline water. Ocean water contains about 35,000 ppm.


Effect of Yellow Jacket with DormBreakerTM on Turfgrass Seed Germination and Establishment.
An intensive trial was conducted at Barenbrug USA’s Research Center in Albany, Oregon. Several grasses were coated with Yellow Jacket in combination with the newest ingredient, DormBreaker. The unique DormBreaker technology exhibits impressive effects on improving germination and establishment. Graphs 5 and 6 below show the establishment index of coated versus uncoated bermudagrass and Kentucky bluegrass. The coated seed in both trials exhibited much better establishment than the uncoated seed.





  • Less water needed for establishment (30 percent less)
  • Faster and improved establishment
  • Better turf quality
  • Coating enhances uniform seeding
  • Coated seed is heavier improving travel through established turf canopies
  • The yellow coated seed is easy to visually monitor during application
  • Apron® (fungicide) adds additional insurance for successful establishment
  • Proven performance even in the most demanding applications