When and Where to Use Soybean Seed Treatment
Over the last 5 years soybean seed treatment use has increased to cover almost 50% of US soybean acres. Treatment brands vary on their exact recipes but all include some mix of fungicides, insecticides and biologicals. These compounds are designed to protect soybeans in tough environments and the yield robbing pests that come with those environments.
The following environmental and management factors create scenarios where seed treatment is most likely to be of economic benefit
-Fields that are no-till, have poorly drained soils, or are prone to flooding can have heavier than average pressure of moisture loving pathogens. The added moisture can also slow emergence and increase exposure to disease.
– Planting soybeans early in Mid-April or Early May increases the chances that beans are planted in cool and wet conditions. Seed treatments can help maximize soybean emergence in these conditions.
– Fields with a history of Phytophthora or Soybean Sudden Death should use treated soybeans. Both diseases can be easily controlled with the correct fungicides.
– As growers continue to manage input costs, soybean planting populations are decreasing. Lower planting populations mean the emergence of each seed is more important.
After decades of drastic increases in crop yields, many industry experts agree that future yield increases will come from the use of multiple management practices that each has a small yield bump. Seed treatment is a great place to start. Seed treatments fight a variety of soybean pests including but not limited to
– Rhizoctonia Seedlng Blight (red/brown lesions on the lower stem)
– Fusarium Root Rot (Stunted plants with black/brown root discoloration)
– Phytopthora Root Rot (stunted plants with water-soaked brown stem lesions)
– Pythium Seed Decay and seedling dieback (mushy seeds or water-soaked lesions on the cotyledons)
– Early season insects such as Bean Leaf Beetle, Wireworms, and White Grubs
– Soybean Cyst Nematodes
SEED TREATMENT TRIAL (pictured)
– 6 reps over 3 years at two different locations
– 2.4RM soybean planted in fields with an average risk for disease pressure