Protecting the Investment

April 19, 2019

4.18.19 | Protecting the Investment from Central Valley Ag on Vimeo.

Protecting the Investment – Seed Treatment thoughts for 2019

If there is an area of agriculture that is changing as fast as the Precision Ag Technology side, it might be the world of seed treatments. Every year we get what seems like quite a few new options out there to choose from, and honestly, keeping up with all of the names and formulations of these products can be a bit overwhelming. For a guy like myself, I don’t even try. To me, seed treatments are more about knowing the categories that we can protect, thinking about what kind of protection we need on a specific farm, and utilizing a trusted advisor to put it all together. So today, I want to cover what we might expect to see this year and the categories that fit with that.

I know that October of 2018 seems like forever ago, but I want us all to remember back to what Soybean harvest was like last year. We had ample rain, and we finished the year with a full soil moisture profile. Fast forward to April of 2019, and that soil profile remains near capacity. It would seem to me at this point that the likelihood of planting this crop into cool, wet soils is going to be somewhere between probable and certain. So, as we think about the challenges of getting a crop going in those conditions to get the quality and consistency of stand that we are after, I think about seedling diseases, and I think about products that help the plant establish itself quicker.

When it comes to seedling diseases, this year I would expect that we will see seedling pathogens, such as Rhizoctonia and Fusarium. In areas that had flooding or water problems in March, other soil-borne pathogens such as Pythium and Phytophthora will be favored. One other factor to consider is that soils that had water running across it may now have been exposed to disease that you wouldn’t normally see. When it comes to all of these diseases, there is one thing in common. Once we see the disease in our new corn or soybean seedlings, it is too late to really do anything about it. We have to plan ahead and protect the plant before the seed is ever put into the ground. Working with your local agronomist is the best bet you have for choosing the right treatment that will work for your set of conditions.

On the other side of the equation are products that help our plants get stronger starts. When I think of these, I think about Ascend and Take Off. Now while these products don’t necessarily qualify as seed treatments in the formulations we are used to using, they are still applied in-furrow to the seed. I know that some of these products like Ascend have been around forever, but new formulations exist that make them better as well. Moreover, when you look at combining a plant growth regulator like an Ascend with a nutrient efficiency product like Take Off, some complementary effects really elevate the overall performance.

Finally, I would be remiss if we didn’t at least mention inoculant and soybeans. I am a big believer that inoculant every year on soybeans is just a good investment. However, again, this year with the water movement that we saw, I would say it is essential to make sure all bottom ground is inoculated, and I would consider it a good investment on all ground.

I realize at the end of the day, that I am suggesting that we invest several dollars in seed treatments and in-furrow products that you may not have been thinking about. But, at the end of the day, you are preparing to make a trip across the field that has a lot of dollars going in behind it. I don’t think it's out of the realm of reality to talk about the potential for losing 5% of our stand this year to diseases, vigor, and growth conditions. Working with your trusted advisor to build a plan to not just protect against the conditions, but to attack the year could easily cancel out most or all of that stand loss and net us a decent chunk of change in return.

By Keith Byerly

LISTEN TO THE LATEST SOIL TALK PODCAST EPISODE | EPISODE 3
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On this episode of SOIL TALK, we will be talking about split application and the things we are doing to be more efficient with our nitrogen application, inhibitors and the models that exist to help us make decisions on the rate.
 

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Posted: 4/19/2019 11:10:57 AM by Kelli Reznicek | with 0 comments