Shortly after emergence, young soybean plants start putting down their roots. During this crucial time of development, soybean plants face a host of threats. Cool and wet conditions during and shortly after planting, favor seedling disease infection. As soil insects come out of their overwintering stage, they'll be drawn to seeds and tender roots. If not properly protected from early season threats, soybean plants can face emergence, stand establishment issues and yield impacts later in the season.
As growers practice earlier soybean planting dates, chances increase that soil conditions will be wet and cool. Soybean seed treatments are a convenient way to provide early season protection. Soybean seedlings are particularly susceptible to stunting, phytotoxicity, and pests in cool, wet planting conditions. Some seed treatments can also enhance nutrient uptake, root and shoot growth, encourage microbial activity and improve seed flow and plant spacing.
However, just like with any input on a farm, growers must see a value in soybean seed treatments through a return on investment.
Saltro® soybean seed treatment from Syngenta, protects against Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) and proactively minimizes below ground stress that can affect vulnerable root systems. In the 2020 and 2021 growing seasons, growers conducted on-farm trials of Saltro through the MiField Applied Research Trial program. Average yield and income calculations from 2021 on-farm MiField trials showed overall in increases.
In 2021, an average of 24 trials showed a 2.2 bu/A increase in Saltro-treated acres, as compared to the checks, while the two-year average of 35 trials showed a 1.5 bu/A increase. The ROI average of the 24 trials in 2021 was $14.42/A while the two-year ROI average of 35 trials was $3.81 bu/A.
As all farmers know, conditions during each season play a major role in the profitability of any input, including seed treatments. The varied rainfall conditions of both spring 2020 and 2021 resulted in some areas experiencing saturated soils at planting time while others remained dry. This provided for mixed conditions for flourishing sudden death syndrome (SDS) infections and influenced the average yield response and ROI in seed treatment trials.
In high risk fields and environments, where soybeans are planted early into cool and wet conditions, the benefits soybean seed treatments, like Saltro, will protect soybean yields in a higher order of magnitude, and increase profitability. Contact your Southern States Agronomy Specialist today to discuss how seed treatments could add value to your farm.