EPISODE 156

Custom seed treatment offers targeted protection

March 5, 2024
Isaac Effertz, a seed improvement specialist with CHS, explains how custom seed treatment blends provide a targeted approach to regional crop insect and disease challenges.

Spring planting is right around the corner. Customized soybean seed treatments offer a targeted approach to disease and insect control to give the crop a strong start.

“To get the right soybean seed treatment, you need a well-balanced approach to manage all the pressures your crop might face this upcoming growing season,” says Isaac Effertz, a seed improvement specialist with CHS. “Every operation faces different disease and insect challenges, and combining everything you need into custom-blended seed treatment can offer more prescriptive, early-season protection.”

Tailor Treatment to Your Region

Different growing regions face different disease and pest pressures. Growers should plan their soybean seed treatment strategies accordingly.

“Customized soybean seed treatments allow you to tailor to your region. Some areas of the country might need to focus more on the disease spectrum by adding another fungicide and others might focus more on stress tolerance when planting in cold soils by adding a plant growth regulator,” Effertz says. “Customizing seed treatments to your region promotes even emergence, which helps when timing your herbicide and fungicide applications, and improves yield potential.”

Build the Best Soybean Treatment Plan

The STI Customized seed treatment service offered by CHS includes more than 10 active ingredients in fungicides to target some of the most prevalent soybean diseases, including white mold and phytophthora or pythium.

“The chemistry that’s been used to control these diseases has been around since the ‘80s, so the disease pathogens have developed resistance,” says Effertz. “We’ve added an active ingredient called ethaboxam to help protect against some of the resistant species.”

Effertz explains that is just one example of how growers can customize their soybean seed treatment plan. The program also offers various insecticides and nematicides, as well as crop health components such as plant growth regulators and micronutrients so growers can build customized seed treatment plans.

“There’s more to come for custom seed treatments as manufacturers and universities research new chemistries for soybean cyst nematode and wireworm protection,” Effertz says, “and many biologicals are being developed. Incorporating those chemistries is an interesting option I see coming for custom applications.”

A man wearing a reflective vest overlooks a custom seed treatment machine in a warehouse