The Importance of Seed Treatments
Seed treatments play a crucial role by providing protection for the seed and seedlings against disease and insect pressure from the moment they are planted. There are hundreds of pathogens and insects that can damage or even kill the seed or seedlings before they even have a chance to develop, which can negatively influence the crop’s progress throughout the growing season and have a major impact on the yield results at harvest time. With soybeans, seed and seedling diseases are a common and significant problem.
According to a Soybean Disease Loss Estimates report published by the Crop Protection Network earlier this year, “In 2015, 11.7 percent of the total estimated soybean bushels were lost to disease in the top 28 soybean-producing states.” During that year, they also estimate the U.S. produced 3.93 billion bushels of soybeans. The report goes on to say the year was categorized as one with mild temperatures, above-average precipitation with many areas reporting record soybean yields.
Pest and disease pressures can also affect the plant’s growth and development throughout the season because of poor nutrient uptake or reduced stand establishment which can impact the crops’ overall yield.
Most crops benefit from a seed treatment. However, the seed treatments we are talking about are most commonly used on soybeans, dry beans, peas, potatoes, lentils and cereals such as wheat.
Since seed and seedling diseases in soybeans are a common and significant problem, fungicidal seed treatments can significantly reduce the occurrences of many seed and seedling diseases. Treating soybean seed has greatly increased over the past 10 years due to the effectiveness of these fungicides. With the growing use of fungicidal seed treatments, the industry can decrease the millions of soybean bushels lost each year to diseases including Fusarium, Pythium, Rhizoctonia and Phytophthora.
Seed Treatment Options
Continued advancements in seed treatment have allowed ag retailers a variety of options to help growers protect their crops from the hundreds of fungi and insects that may negatively impact their crop yields. Seed treatments as part of a strong crop management plan can help growers achieve the higher yields they strive to produce each growing season.
West Central Distribution offers retailers two industry-leading options for seed treatments which are designed to help fit the needs of their growers.
- STI Customized is a custom-blending seed treatment service that has grown rapidly over the last several years. West Central offers three blending sites, allowing their ag retailers to choose from over 350 custom blends or create a completely new and unique blend for their specific needs.
- Ridgeline Seed Care Portfolio is a new high quality packaged brand offering leading agronomic performance against well-known seed-borne and soil-borne diseases. Ridgeline provides a consistent formulation that retailers can count on. This focused control is convenient for the retailer to use and easy to manage. With Ridgeline, retailers don’t have to worry about inventory restrictions and other EPA rules that can govern custom blends. Ridgeline seed treatment is available in a variety of product options and convenient sizes including 2.5-gallon jugs, 15-gallon kegs and 250-gallon shuttles.
Ridgeline Seed Care Portfolio
Ridgeline includes some of the newest chemistries in the seed treatment market and provides excellent protection for a variety of crops. The portfolio provides four different product options, including:
- Halifax Fungicide is a two-fungicide mix for soybeans and other legumes with enhanced Phytophthora control and includes a polymer for better adhesion and seed flowability in the planter.
- Halifax Fungicide and Insecticide is a three-fungicide mix and insecticide that sets a new standard for water mold control. Both options deliver superior protection against well-known seed-borne and soil-borne diseases.
- Lancaster Fungicide is a three-fungicide mix for cereals that includes a polymer and color in a ready-to-use formulation for commercial and grower applications.
- Lancaster Fungicide and Insecticide is for cereals and provides unsurpassed protection with third generation insecticide and super-systemic fungicide defense system.
For more information about West Central’s new Ridgeline Seed Care portfolio watch this video or visit wcdst.com.