Soybean School: Ensuring seed treatments protect your investment

It wasn’t so long ago that growers wouldn’t plant soybeans in April, but times have changed as research continues to provide evidence of the yield benefits when planting early.

Soybeans have also developed a reputation as pretty tough customers. And when growers add protection from a new generation of seed treatments they can expect strong emergence and uniform plant stands — even when spring conditions turn cold and wet.

On this episode of the Soybean School we take a closer look at the evolution of seed treatments and how they work with Syngenta Canada seedcare specialist Eric Persson. He notes that only two decades ago seed treatments were typically single active ingredient products but now can include up to five actives in their formulation — they can include fungicides, insecticides, different classes of chemistry, and even nematicides.

All that firepower can put a lot of pressure on a formulation. That’s why testing is critical to ensure the product is working well throughout the application process and effectively coating the seed. In the video, Persson discusses the importance of good product suspension — the process of having active ingredient dispersed throughout the seed treatment solution — and avoiding sedimentation and settling out. It’s critical to have active ingredients applied evenly throughout the treating process, he adds. (Story continues after the video)

Persson notes that much of the success of seed treatments is determined in the lab. That’s where extensive testing is conducted to ensure products perform effectively across a range of conditions — from cold and hot, to humid and dry. It’s also critical for seed to have good product coverage. He notes that when contact fungicides are part of the formulation, disease can impact the seed where it is not covered, but when the seed is properly coated it is afforded much better protection.

When it comes to treatment accuracy and consistency, Persson has some tips for applicators and growers. He stresses the need to ensure application pumps are properly calibrated. Recirculating the product is another performance key. This ensures active suspension throughout the formulation and effective seed coverage at the beginning and end of the treatment process.

Click here for more Soybean School episodes.

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