Evaluation of seed treatments on soybean
The benefit of a seed treatment on soybean stand establishment was not evident in our 2012 field trials. Much of the research across the Midwest has shown that seed treatments only protect soybean stand when cold (<55F), wet conditions occur within a few days of planting. In addition, we do not expect to see yield protection in the absence of significant pest pressure. We did, however, detect evidence of an effect of seed treatment on yield at three of our four sites, although no one product stood out above the rest. A tremendous amount of research on the biology of soybean seedling diseases in the Midwest is currently being done with funding from USDA-NIFA, the United Soybean Board, and the North Central Soybean Research Program. The Iowa Soybean Association is also funding research in Iowa. The goal of this research is to improve our understanding of the pathogens that are causing seedling disease and the conditions that favor infection and disease development both early in the growing season and as the season progresses. The sensitivity of these pathogens to fungicides used in seed treatment products is also being evaluated. These data may help to explain why one seed treatment benefits yield at one location and not necessarily at another.
Funding for this study was provided by Iowa Soybean Association. We thank Bayer CropScience, Syngenta and Valent for treating seed for the study.