Soybean Seed Treatment - March 2013
[University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System. Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. Gus Lorenz, Extension Entomologist, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Lonoke Research and Extension Center]
I’m Gus Lorenz, Extension entomologist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
Today we are starting to treat seed, soybean seed, for our trials this year. As you can see behind me, we have small batch treaters and large batch treaters that we treat seed. [Video shows people treating seeds by placing seeds in equipment that rotates the seed as they add the liquid treatment.]
We are constantly evaluating insecticide seed treatment for value to our producers. There’s a lot of new products that are coming on-line and we continue to look at existing seed treatments to figure out the value for our producers and to test those products and see how active they are and how long they last in the field.
The small batch treater is more effective for small amounts of seed that we use for plot work. So you need what we call a batch treater that treats up to about five to ten pounds of seed for our small plot work. As opposed to our larger seed treaters over here to the right that are for large plot work that we do. We’re looking at on grower fields, evaluating treatments that we’re looking at.
The decision that a lot of growers are making right now is whether or not to use a seed treatment and based on the work that we’ve conducted the last several years in Arkansas, it appears that there is a pretty good value to the insecticide seed treatments.
The question that I continually get from growers is, “is it really worth the money?” Because in today’s agriculture, you as a grower are so front loaded on your expenses that it seems like we’re spending a lot of money before we ever see the crop come out of the ground. And so that’s a concern for our growers and unless these seed treatments have real value, you know, it’s just another up-front loaded cost that they’re not realizing a profit from. But based on our work in the Mid-south and here in Arkansas particularly, we’ve done a lot of work with these seed treatments and what it appears is about 80 percent of the time, we get a positive net return to the grower of somewhere three to three-and-a half bushels per acre.
[For more information on seed treatment visit www.uaex.edu. University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System, Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.]