Seed Treatment Solution for Soybean Quality Concerns
Unfortunately, the challenges of 2018 didn’t end with the harvest last fall. Like many fields across the country, weather conditions during grain fill and harvest also had an impact on seed production acres. That is showing up this spring in reports from seed suppliers of having frequent positive test results for seed borne diseases like Phomopsis, which reduces germination rates, vigor, and overall stand.
When faced with seedling disease concerns, our primary management tool is seed treatment. While it’s a common inclusion in the management program for many farmers, there are some who make that decision on more of a year to year basis. With commodity prices as they have been in recent years, there are increasing numbers of growers that have opted to reduce their seed treatment, or to not treat their seed at all. That may prove to be a costly decision in 2019. The typical factors considered when choosing to use seed treatments include planting date, tillage, and seed germination percentages. The first two are common considerations with the understanding that the cooler soils and higher moisture levels commonly seen with early planting and reduced tillage increase the risk of seedling disease and the need for seed treatment. It isn’t as common however that we have to factor seed quality into that equation. The reduced germination rates being seen in much of the soybean seed in 2019 should take anyone from being on the fence about using seed treatment this year, squarely into the camp of treating their seed. The science backs it up as well. Iowa State University research shows that using the appropriate seed treatments can increase germination rates by 10-15%. That might not sound like a lot, but that level of increased stand, and the related improvements in seedling vigor with treated seed, lead to significant increases in yield potential. Additionally, improvements to stand and vigor help the crop reach canopy sooner, which can help in managing some of the tough to control weeds.
So, which treatment is best to use? Fortunately, seed borne Phomopsis is a seedling disease that is commonly rated by seed treatment manufacturers and universities. When comparing those ratings, a few active ingredients standout, including Maxim (fludioxonil). Maxim is a key fungicide for protection against fusarium diseases, and Seed Shield® Max Beans gives you the best opportunity to improve stand when challenged with stand loss from seed borne phomopsis.
How we start a season has a strong impact on how we finish it, and as always the first step is to get a good stand out of the ground. Increasing the return on your seed investment starts with using a quality seed treatment like Seed Shield Max Beans.