De Smet, S.D. - When it comes to protecting soybean fields from fungal diseases and insects, the best protection farmers can offer comes in the form of seed treatments, says Matt Hubsch, lead agronomist for Legend Seeds, De Smet, S.D.
"Unlike corn, which growers can buy with resistance to disease and insects built into the seed, soybean seed technology has not caught up. The best way to provide protection to soybeans early on is through seed treatments," Hubsch said.
Hubsch adds that seed treatments provide protection to the soybean plant when it's most vulnerable - significantly impacting emergence and plant health.
"Seed treatments help prevent the young plant from being cut off by early season insects or diseases. They protect the developing plant from early season stressors', giving it a strong start so it can absorb all the nutrients and water it needs to survive late-season stress, like drought or excess moisture, and still yield," he said.
Today's growers have access to a variety of seed treatment packages which offer protection to a broad range of insects and diseases. When visiting growers' fields and reviewing data from test plots this season, Hubsch says yields prove that investing in seed treatments at planting pays off at harvest.
"On average, seed treatments increase emergence by 6 percent and increase yields by 2 to 10 bushels an acre. Depending on the stressors, I've seen even higher yields on fields that received seed treatments," Hubsch said. "The take home message here is, early season protection, enhances plant vigor and plant health which leads to more pods per plant."