WESTFIELD, Ind. — Why do seed treatments matter? “A seed treatment is insurance on getting a good stand,” says Steve Crafton, an LG Seeds agronomist with more than three decades of experience under his belt.
He elaborates, “Seed treatments are a tool in our toolbox that helps us ensure we’re keeping insects away and protecting against soilborne diseases early in the season.” While they can’t protect against issues caused by planting too deep or too shallow or failing to get good seed-to-soil contact, they do protect against diseases and pests that can threaten corn and soybean crop establishment. “Stand establishment is the biggest thing,” Crafton emphasizes.
Differing packages offer varied protection
Seed treatment packages vary in terms of chemistry and rates, what they protect against and nutritional add-ons, giving farmers options to fit their unique challenges. LG Seeds offers four different seed treatment packages for corn, which Crafton explains as follows:
- Acceleron® 250: A basic seed treatment using a P250 rate of Poncho® insecticide that controls soilborne diseases as well as wireworms and grubs. It protects against early feeding and helps with root and stand establishment.
- Acceleron® 500: This is a double rate of the P250 Poncho®, plus it includes Votivo®insecticide. This combo helps with those early-season wireworms, grubs, black cutworm and many different nematode species.
- AgriShield® ST: This package brings good early-season control of pests and insects and soilborne diseases. A 250 rate of Thiamethoxam insecticide offers better protection against seedling blights.
- AgriShield® Max: This doubles the rate of Thiamethoxam, increasing protection against soilborne diseases, early-season pests and nematodes. Nutritional zinc is a key addition to this package.
The power of zinc
Crafton favors AgriShield® Max because it “maximizes your protection against early-season threats, and it includes nutritional zinc that helps build yield.” That yield bump isn’t anecdotal. “Seven years of data shows adding zinc has raised yields an average of 3.2 bushels per acre,” he says. “At $5 corn, that’s more than $15 an acre.”
Crafton explains there tends to be a yellowing-off phase when the corn plant transitions from relying on its seminal roots to its nodal roots. He says, “Zinc helps keep that plant green, avoiding that little bit of a stutter and getting the nodal root system to go down to capture those nutrients and green back up.”
Seed treatments protect against Pythium
With farmers in the Corn Belt focused on planting crops earlier and earlier, the seedling blight Pythium that’s associated with cool, wet soils is a mounting concern. Pythium can also be an issue for operations using cover crops and limited or no tillage.
The economic toll of root rots and seedling blight is substantial. They have cost farmers in the U.S. and Ontario more than 100 million bushels each year, with Pythium causing more damage than Fusarium and Rhizoctonia combined.1
Consequently, all new LG Seeds products are treated with Vayantis® fungicide seed treatment, “cutting-edge technology for fighting Pythium,” according to Crafton. The fungicide seed treatment provides a new mode of action that effectively fights all known Pythium species in the U.S.
“Having that added Vayantis® protection on our seed will be awesome for getting a good stand and helping to protect those seedlings from pythium,” according to Crafton. He says doing so enables the crop to realize more of its yield potential.
Reach out to your local LG Seeds agronomist for guidance choosing the best seed and seed treatment package for your acres.
— LG Seeds