Farm Horizons, February 2001

Protecting your soybean seed

By Myron Oftedahl, CCA
UAP Agronomy, Lester Prairie

What to do this spring? Are you losing sleep worrying over high nitrogen prices and availability? High fuel prices? Sell grain now or later?

Another area of concern should be the lower germination rates of the soybeans that you intend to plant this spring.

With many seed companies stating that germination rates for soybean seed will be at 85 percent or lower, instead of the usual 90 to 95 percent, how can you protect the seed at planting?

You have two options. The first is to order treated seed from your seed dealer. The drawback to this option is that treated soybean seed is non-returnable and must be planted.

The second choice is to treat your seed on the farm at planting time. This can range from planter box treatments to an on-farm seed treating system that would be positioned on a bulk seed auger and thus, treat the soybean seed as it is loaded into the planter. The cost for seed treatment will be approximately $2.00 a bushel.

A seed treatment such as Apron Maxx RTA will offer protection against many of the soybean seeding diseases.

Pythum and Rhizoctonia are usually associated with early death. Either the seed is killed before emergence, or death will occur soon after emergence.

Both will sometimes be called "damping off" which is actually caused by the Fusarium bacteria.

Phytophthora resistance is readily available through most seed varieties, but the addition of a seed treatment can enhance the resistance already present.

Apron Maxx will provide control for all these diseases, and is also the only treatment available that will control seed-born Sclerotinia or White mold.

With planting earlier each year, and often planting into more residue, the $2.00 per acre spent on seed treatment could be the best money invested into your farming operation this year.

If you consider the research showing a yield advantage of between one to four bushels per acre, the investment looks even better.

Have a safe and profitable 2001.

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