To Treat or Not To Treat: 5 Things to Know about Seed Treatments

Many farmers may be questioning whether their soybeans need a fungicide seed treatment this planting season. But that depends on many factors – from weather and planting date to drainage and seed costs.

Is it right for you?

Here are five things to consider:

1. Field Conditions

Farmers with poorly drained or no-tilled fields, continuous-soybean or soybean-corn rotations and a history of replanting are the most likely to see the added benefit of using a seed treatment, according to The Ohio State University.

The use of a seed treatment is most impactful in fields with a history of post-planting problems, such as minor soil crusting, temporary flooding, soil compaction or poorly drained soils, according to the University of Kentucky. Treatments are also useful when farmers use low seeding rates and when farmers plant seed with a moderate germination rate or when the germination rate is unknown.

2. Weather Conditions

When spring conditions are cool and wet and when planting occurs in late April to early May, seed-treatment fungicides are an effective tool, according to Shawn Conley, soybean extension specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

3. Stand and Vigor

Using a fungicide treatment on soybean seeds will increase the probability of achieving a satisfactory stand and will enhance the early-season vigor of established seedlings, according to the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board.

4. Decrease Seeding Rate

With the increase in cost of seed, many farmers don’t want to overplant. As a result, according to Iowa State University and University of Wisconsin-Madison, some are decreasing their seeding rate and using the money they save on seed treatments instead.

5. Higher Potential Yields

Fungicide seed treatments showed an average yield increase of 2.5 bushels per acre over an eight year period, according to Kansas State University Research and Extension.

Information from the United Soybean Board’s article “Six Things Farmers Should Know about Seed Treatments.

Check out SFR Seed’s soybean seed treatment options. Call or text Doug at 870.217.3059 or email doug@sfrseed.com for more information or to book treatment.

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