Wheat School: The Importance of Seed Treatments in Wheat Production – Phil Needham

Originally looked upon as “snake oil” seed treatments have become an integral part of the production system.  For the most part many farmers originally had trouble understanding the value because the action was underground.  Farmers are used to using products like herbicides that kills weeds which is very visual.  The action of seed treatments is much more discreet but just as effective and beneficial.  With the advent of technologies that increase the vigour of the plant, seed treatments are becoming more popular for many growers because the visual results are staggering.

For some farmers the cost of seed treatment is viewed as insurance and a way to ensure that the crop gets the start that it needs.  If the plant stand is weak the crop has limited opportunity to regain its lost position on the optimal yield curve.

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In Western Canada, the wet spring is going to prove to be a real challenge for planted seeds.  Just like last year, seed treatments are real musts in these type of wet cool conditions.  In Ontario farmers are much more prone to using seed treatments in comparison to the west for whatever reason.

Phil Needham is an expert in the production of wheat.  Phil travels the world speaking to growers on how we can expand the capabilities of wheat in the field through stronger production practices.  Phil is a big proponent of seed treatments in wheat production and sums it best when he says, “you just have to do it, you have no other choice.”

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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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