Five Reasons to Use Soybean Seed Treatement
By: Jake Shelton, MKC seed manager
Seed performance is at the heart of your farm’s success. All growers want to end the season in the best possible position they can yield-wise, and the only way to do that is to get the plant off to a great start through seed treatment.
Finding ways to reduce input costs is critical to any operation, but making the decision to not to use a soybean seed treatment to cut costs comes with its own risk. In the end, seed treatment is an important investment to get the soybean plant off to a great start and protect your crop into the growing season..
Here are some reasons to consider using seed treatments this year.
- Farm has a history of replanting. No question — use fungicide seed treatments. Even at the older estimates of replanting associated costs, one replant will pay for more than ten years of a seed treatment.
- Field is slow to drain after heavy rains. More often than not, seed treatments will protect and have added yield benefits compared to a non-treated seed. All of the soil-borne pathogens that can infect soybeans require high moisture. If a field is slow to drain or has areas prone to pooling water, the time the field is saturated is much longer, resulting in more seeds/seedlings becoming infected when those heavy rains occur.
- Reduce seeding rates. Seeding rate is another place where seed treatments are beginning to play a more significant role. With reduced seeding rates, every seed becomes important and seed treatments can contribute to maintaining early plant populations. In some of our seed treatment studies, the treated seed is emerging at greater than 90% of the seed we planted than non-treated seed, which may be less than 50%.
- Soil-borne plant pathogens often cause early season damping-off. Numerous studies show if a grower is totally dependent on the partial resistance portion of the resistance package, seed treatments are needed to protect the plants until they are up and out of the ground.
- Early planting and very cool temperatures. The cooler the spring, the longer the seed/seedling will sit belowground, giving these soil-borne pathogens more time to feed. For those first fields, seed treatments can provide protection, especially when it takes 2-3 weeks for them to emerge.