For many retailers, discussions about seed protection may never creep into the conversations they have with customers despite the overall increase in treating seeds. Some experts argue retailers can use these seed protection discussions as chances to reinforce the return the investment and build toward stronger customer satisfaction. 

"When retailers discuss seed treatment options with customers it can be a big opportunity for them to understand the grower’s planting approach and needs for the year. But these conversations also can reinforce the overall importance and value of seed protection in getting the season started strong and protecting their investment,” said Marty Robinson, Crop & Key Accounts Manager for Valent Seed Protection.

Robinson offers the following “conversation starters” for retailers to consider when discussing seed protection with their customers: 

  • How strong were your stand counts last year?

With growers and retailers both keeping an eye on input costs, it can be tempting to cut costs in seed protection. But as the wet 2011 season showed, lesser systems often do not provide the strength to deliver stand counts under stressful situations.

“Remind your customers that it only takes one period of prolonged bad weather to jeopardize their stand counts which, ultimately, can lead to lesser yield,” Robinson said. 

  • How well did the seed flow last season during planting? Did you see much material stick to your planter?
    With overall seed costs becoming a significant investment for growers, it is more important than ever that the seed treatment actually get onto the seed completely and stay there throughout the planting and emergence process. “Making sure you chose a seed protection system that coats well and has polymers to ensure it doesn’t break down too soon in the field is a sure step to improved return on investment for the customer, especially in precision planting situations,” Robinson said. “Retailers can discuss how well the grower thought the material stayed on the seed and how that will lead to stronger stand counts. Again, reinforcing how important good seed protection is to a good start to the season.”