The Benefits of Seed Treatments

By Garth Donald, Dynagra

We have to look back in history to understand how seed treatments came to be. Some of the first seed treatment goes as far back to when the first settlers came to North America. This was just by accident that some of the seed bags fell in the salt water and when they planted it there was a difference between the non salt water seed and the salt water seed. Then as we moved forward people were putting formaldehyde on the seed to protect the seed from disease. Then for us who can remember Vitavax power we thought we had the world by the tail. So why does any of this matter to today€™s farmer? It shows the evolution of seed treatment and the value it provides. The products we have today make it possible to see higher yields from the same varieties. Our seeding practices have changed so dramatically that we need to be in touch with what is going on under the ground as much as what is going on above ground. Everything starts from the ground up and that is our main concern.

So why do we want to treat our seed. The best analogies I can use are when you wake up in December and go outside in your bare feet and see how long you can stand there. You are probably not going to stand there very long because the concrete is cold. In no till and min till that is what it is like for the seed we put in the ground. We want to protect that seed from the cold conditions and stress. Placing the seed in cold soil will take a long time for it to germinate and increases the potential of soil borne diseases to attack the seed and make it not viable.

If you don€™t believe that a seed treatment gives you a return on investment my suggestion is to split a field and do half with and half without. I was fortunate to have this happen back in 1997 in the Rockyford area and what the grower did was he seeded CPS wheat with a third of the field with no treatment, third of the field with Vitavax and a third with Vitaflo 280. There was a night and day difference between all three which was amazing. The non-treated had fine leaves with stunted growth and you could shoot arrow down the rows. The Vitavax had more vigorous growth and thicker leaves but you could still see down the rows. The Vitaflo had lush plants that you couldn€™t see down any rows with a very thick stand. Now I know this is old technology but if we had that kind of response back then just imagine what is possible with the great line of seed treatments that we have today. Seed treatment pays back every time and it is the cheapest investment that you will have for your crop!

Those are my thoughts,

Garth Donald C.C.A.

 

Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of RealAgriculture.com. @shaunhaney

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