Seed treatments can help to establish a healthy crop. They can provide an early defense against diseases and insects, while also improving a plant’s early season vigor. Treatment programs are available for most crops; in fact, the majority of corn planted in the U.S. arrives pretreated from the provider—but how do you know if you’re getting the right seed treatment for your operation, whether for corn, soybeans or another crop? Like with most things we add into our cropping plan, it’s a risk assessment consideration: How much could I possibly lose if I don’t utilize a seed treatment? Could I get away with cutting back in spraying, or changing a particular active ingredient?
Here are few questions to ask yourself about seed treatments before you buy your seed, or decide on a program:1. What specific insect and disease pressures am I dealing with?
Once you deal with a soil-borne pathogen, your best bet is to consider it the new normal. And the same applies to insects, which can often overwinter in crop residue, surrounding fields and nearby tree lines. Fungicide and insecticide seed treatments can keep these pests at bay while your crop emerges and gets ready to begin the growth process. These are foundational seed treatments so consider them first
2. Am I going to change anything about my tillage practices?
While reduced tillage or cover crop programs programs are excellent for protecting and improving your soil, they also can also keep the ground cooler and wetter longer. Those conditions can encourage insect and disease development of your fledgling crop, so the use of a seed treatment might help to reduce the potential for pressures there.
3. When will I likely be planting?
Many farmers see the value of planting as early as possible—a longer growing season can mean more time to build yield and more time for drydown prior to harvest. If you like to plant early, a seed treatment can give seeds and seedlings that additional early protection during an unexpected cool or wet stretch.
4. How short is my rotation plan?
Corn-after-corn, bean-after-bean, whatever your case may be—if you’re in a short rotation plan, insects and pathogens that might be put off by a longer rotation plan, are just waiting for their favorite crop to be planted again. Seed treatments do their part to defend against those attacks.
5. How much do I have to cover?
When you’re planting a significant number of acres, you will want to start as early as possible. A seed treatment plan could give you some freedom, so when you hit a field that needs to be planted now, but isn’t quite ideal for planting, you know your seeds have some added protection.
6. Do I have a history of early, post-planting issues?
A study from the University of Kentucky says that seed treatments have shown the most improvement in fields with early issues, including minor soil crusting, temporary flooding or soil compaction. Impressive yields start with a healthy plant stand and the right seed treatment can help support it.
7. What concerns about soybean quality do I need to address?
With so much of the country experiencing higher than average rainfalls this season and a lengthy harvest, final soybean quality is expected to be low. If you’re concerned about lower quality beans and less than ideal germination, the F2F Genetics NetworkTM has a $5 seed treatment for soybeans—the unique combination of fungicides and high rate of insecticide has shown in 2018 testing to increase germination by up to 15 percent.
Consider what you really need for seed treatments, and how many active ingredients will be critical, based on your farms specific needs. You can make seed treatments an efficient component of your cropping plan without breaking the bank.
F2F Genetics Network branded seed products and other seed products are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed. Terms & Conditions are subject to change at anytime and without notice. See sales order form for additional terms and conditions. We do not guarantee customers will receive specific benefits or value from using F2F Genetics Network branded seed and results may vary.