One very tangible benefit to a complete seed treatment package occurred this year when many growers planted their bean crops two to three weeks earlier than normal. “They didn’t have to increase their planting populations, especially with Roundup Ready 2 soybeans,” Hagen says. “In general, we now recommend 140,000 seeds/acre, as opposed to 180,000, which is what we used to suggest. At $50/bag, that is a significant savings on seed.”
When it comes to return on his investment, Faribault, Minn., farmer and Genesis customer Pat DeGrood says his two main reasons for using soybean seed treatments are that they create better growing conditions for the seed from the start, and that boosts yields. “We’ve used seed treatments on soybeans for five years, and did side-by-side tests the first two years,” he says. “We’ve seen a consistent yield increase of between 2 and 5 bu./acre.
“Prior to using CruiserMaxx, we had some early emergence issues with soybeans,” says DeGrood, who farms with his brother Joe. “While I can’t say the seed treatment made all the difference, it definitely helped to make seed emergence more consistent, especially in reduced-tillage situations.”
DeGrood says he views soybean seed treatments as a good risk management tool. “As long as we don’t lose money on it, it’s worth using. I really don’t think we’ve ever lost money on using it, and in most years, the payback has been big.”