What You Need to Know About Seed Treatment

Planting season is right around the corner. As you prepare, you may be thinking about seed treatment.

With the increased costs of seed, you don’t want to overplant because it can get expensive. You can decrease the amount of seed you use and put that money toward seed treatments instead. Why is this a good idea?

Keep reading to learn more about safe seed treatment handling, the types of seed treatment, and the benefits of seed treatment.

What Are Seed Treatments?

Seed treatment applies nutrients, colorants, biological organisms, or chemicals directly to the seed. This can help control pest attacks and improve crop performance overall.

The treatment includes active ingredients like bacteria, fungi, plant extracts, and algae extracts. It is applied to the seed in either a powder or liquid form. It should cover the entire seed for optimum performance.

The various types of seed treatments can be done alone or in a combination to address various issues like disease, pests, and nutrient deficiency. The different types of seed treatment include the following: insecticides, fungicides, additives, seed enhancements, and fertilizers.

Insecticides

This treatment protects seeds beneath the ground from insects and larvae. This also gives seedlings early protection from insects above the ground.

Fungicides

These treatments defend the seeds from various pathogens and fungal diseases. On average, using a fungicide treatment can increase yield by two to six bushels per acre through an eight-year period (depending on the crop).

Additives

These give early-spring benefits for optimal plant health in various environmental conditions. These products include flow additives, inoculants, nematicides, nutrients, and biostimulants. They help improve nitrogen fixation to stimulate plant growth and provide the best soil biodiversity.

Seed Enhancements

These products contain unique attributes that help make the seed more useable. This includes polishing agents, dyes or colorants, coatings, and flowability agents.

Fertilizers

You may be more familiar with fertilizers as they help enhance plant growth by supplying micronutrients. This treatment enhances the performance of fertilizer by adding these nutrients to the soil.

Benefits of Seed Treatment

Using biological seed treatment helps the plant grow, improves resilience, aids in root system development, and enhances the productivity of the crop. Biological seed treatment acts as a biostimulant and the treated crop grows better and is stronger.

The microorganisms make the plant grow by colonizing the roots and protecting the crop throughout the entire growing season. This treatment also enhances your crop yield by helping plants minimize biotic stress and defend against pathogens.

You can also add nutrients to the plant through the root system. This enhancement to the roots means an optimal growth rate right from the beginning. The nutritional value of the crop is also boosted.

Using biological seed treatments also reduces agrochemicals, which lowers your exposure to chemicals used later on. This also lessens the environmental impact.

This treatment has the most impact on fields with a history of planting problems like temporary flooding, soil compaction, poorly drained soils, and minor soil crusting.

Applying the Seed Treatment

With the dawn of spring, the conditions tend to be cool and wet. Planting typically happens in late April to early May, and this is when seed treatment is the most effective.

They will get a healthy and uniform start.  The typical spring conditions may hinder the early growth and vigor. There are various seed treatment methods depending on the size of your farm.

Applying With a Portable Mixer

For smaller batches of seeds, you may use a portable mixer. You only need a portable mixer and spray bottle. There is a little bit of work involved with this process, but it is well worth your investment.

Once your equipment is set up, it probably takes about three to five minutes per bag to treat, empty, and reseal the bag, so treating about 50 units of seed takes a few hours.

Commercial Seed Treatment

There are larger commercial seed treaters, like the LPX 2000 model, that help you get more coverage quicker for larger amounts of seeds. You can add multiple tanks for continuous flow. These models give you accuracy, quality, and modularity.

Why You Should Apply Application Directly to Seed

Direct placement is the most efficient method because the insecticide and fungicide are where they should be to protect the seed. There is no lost product due to indirect application.

By adding directly to the seed, the product curbs and deters insects that cause the most damage early in the plant’s life. This damage can be missed as the plant grows.

Some treatments create a protection zone around the seedling and plant. They then travel within the plant to keep providing protection.

How Much Active Ingredient Do You Need?

Most of the industry uses the “250 rate” for measuring insecticide. You may also see the standard “500 rate.” Some companies do offer a 1250 rate for extreme conditions like removing billbugs or corn rootworms.

If you don’t have a severe problem, you should read the labels and understand the rates to determine if you really need the extra additive. Talk to your seed distributor and describe your issues to find the right amount of additive for your crop, pest, and soil issues.

Get Ready to Plant Today

Seeds are the foundation of your crop. Using seed treatments can help you ensure your crop gets off to the best possible start. The treatment helps mitigate risks such as pests, diseases, and nutrient deficiencies.

Keep in mind this added protection will help you yield better results, and you can plant fewer seeds.

If you are interested in seed treatments and getting a quote on our machines, contact us today. We will be happy to assist you and find the right machinery for your farming operation.

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