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Graphite replacement uses beans

A new replacement to graphite and talc seems to be the talk of the countryside lately.

The product known as Dust, from Iowa-based Low Mu Tech, is made with 100 percent soybeans. Development started back in 2011 for an alternative to stained hands and negative side effects while giving growers seed singulation and lubricity. This led to university research and on-farm trials.

“We worked on it to be as efficient as it could utilizing a product we actually grow because I’m not fortunate enough to have a graphite or talc line on my farm,” said Low Mu Tech managing partner Brian Tulley.

The company’s goal is about a 40 percent market share for the graphite and talc business in corn, soybeans and wheat. Tulley believes this will increase domestic soybean usage by over 2.5 million bushels.

“Anything we can do over that is going to give us more demand for soybeans domestically than what we have seen in the past,” Tulley adds.

All of the soybeans currently used for Dust come from Midwestern locations such as Central Illinois, Missouri and Iowa. Tulley says the product works well with finger meter, vaccum and air delivery planters.

“We are looking at about a two ounce rate on corn for our product to be used per unit. It’s turning out to be very efficient.”

Even though this is the first full year Low Mu Tech has gone nationwide with the product, the company already has an impressive dealer network throughout Illinois – stretching from I-80 north to St. Louis south. Dust was introduced in the spring of 2018 at Commodity Classic to positive responses. Low Mu Tech is focusing on regions such as Central Illinois to grow the business.

A new project from Low Mu Tech includes the development of seed coating which keeps treatment on the seed better. On-farm research is planned this year.

More information can be found by calling: 1-844-Get-Dust or by visiting

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