Seed treatments are offering more protection than ever before. While known primarily for disease control, seed treatments have evolved to cover everything from insect control to accelerated germination to improved nutrient uptake – each advancement increasing the value of the seed investment.
A number of seed treatments have entered the market during the past 10-15 years, presenting more opportunities to see yield improvements and the potential for a good return on investment. That potential to increase yield comes from the ability of seed treatments to boost crop performance, improve plant nutrition, and protect crops from disease and pests. Effective seed treatments offer more protection to plants than ever before.
The primary question many farmers ask is: “Is it going to be worth the investment to include this particular material in my seed treatment package?”
The answer, typically, is yes. Farmers do see increases in yield with seed treatments. It’s an opportunity for the farmer to get that seed out of the ground a lot quicker and in more uniform stands, which you can attribute to using seed treatments. Even though the question is there, and may be there year after year, the return on investment is there as well.
Choosing a Seed Treatment Now and in the Future
There are many things to look at when considering a seed treatment, including weather, field history, geography and drainage.
Weather can have the biggest impact, influencing germination and potential disease problems in the field. A farmer should consider his specific situation and consult with his seed supplier or treater.
Seed treatments can offer the best results in poorly drained fields, cool and wet spring conditions and fields with a history of problems. In the future, expect to see continuous development of fungicide, insecticide and nematicide treatments. Supplemental seed treatments that influence plant growth, and incorporation of biologicals for a variety of benefits, are other areas that could grow in popularity in the future. All of these developments will have the farmer and his ROI in mind.