The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgPro or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
 
 
By Stephanie Porter, Burrus Sales Agronomist
 
In December, we attended the annual ASTA (American Seed Trade Association) conference.  As usual, we were present for the normal genetics meetings, but also meetings focused on currently available or future seed treatments from various companies such as DuPont, Bayer CropScience, Valent, and Syngenta.  This comes as no surprise, as billions of research dollars are not only being spent on the research and development of new seed treatment components, but also for seed treatment facilities, proper seed treating techniques, and training.  Seed treatment components are becoming just as important as seed genetics.
 
It was brought up at one of the meetings by a company representative that growers just think of seed treatment as "pink stuff."  This may be true, but I think the tide is turning based on questions that I have received. The tricky part is knowing and understanding what is in the "pink stuff" that surrounds the seed.
 
One of my recent emails read, "Can you explain your PowerShield® seed treatment, so that the common man can understand?"  The question made me smile because understanding base seed treatments, "add-ons", and rates can be confusing.  Our PowerShield® treatment on corn and soybeans consists of an insecticide, fungicides, nematicide and a biological. To find out more, we have tried to create a fungicide guide to help you understand each component of PowerShield seed treatment on corn and soybeans.  Soon, this document will be simplified and show that we will be adding ethaboxam to our corn seed treatment! 

What is the take home message? That "pink stuff" on your seed does not guarantee protection against all pests, diseases and nematodes.  Make sure you ask all the right questions to ensure that you are getting a return on your seed treatment investment!  

  • What is the rate of the insecticide?
  • Do you have nematode protection?
  • Do you have SDS protection? We have PS SDS (ILeVO).
  • How many fungicides are in the seed treatment?
  • Do you have a fungicide that protects against pythium or phytophthora (oomycetes)?
  • What are the fungicide rates?
  • Do you have a biological?

Not all seed treatments are the same!  Burrus will extensively test more seed treatment components in 2017 in order to continue the success of our PowerShield® seed treatment in the future.