The Value of Seed Treatments - Part 1: Fungicide/Insecticide Seed Treatments

Mar 30, 2021

Stephen Eschenbach

Agronomist, Red Oak

Fungicide and insecticide seed treatments are a beneficial part of a grower’s agronomic input package. Few people would ever consider planting untreated corn if they had the opportunity (most corn seed comes pretreated in the bag). However, there are times when farmers choose to leave their soybean seeds untreated, risking stand quality and yield performance.

In our geography, the disease yield “killers” on beans are Phytophthora and Pythium, and there are a few other “nibblers” like Rhizoctonia and Fusarium, all of which are effectively controlled with good seed treatments, like Warden CX. Contrary to popular belief, fungicide seed treatments aren’t just helpful in cool soils with early planting. Certain strains of each of these diseases actually thrive in warm soil conditions when beans are planted later. The wetter the soil, the more likely these diseases will be an issue. Planting untreated beans can often reduce your emerged soybean stand by 5-10% or more. Seed treatment also controls early season insect pressures like bean leaf beetles, aphids, seedcorn maggots, wireworms, and more.

Our long-term average yield response from a fungicide/insecticide seed treatment is generally somewhere between 1.5-2.5 bu/acre. Variations are van slightly vary higher and lower, but on average, seed treatment provides a positive return on investment. Depending on what planting rate you are starting with, you can actually reduce your seeding rate, but use a seed treatment for approximately the same seed cost/acre while gaining more consistence emergence, stand establishment, and yield. In addition, using Warden CX seed treatment also allows you to have 100% replant protection on all Croplan and NK soybeans purchased from UFC, as well as 75% replant protection on Asgrow soybeans to help manage your risk.

Utilize Warden CX fungicide/insecticide seed treatment from your local United Farmers Cooperative location and see what it can do to protect your soybean profitability.

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