Soybean Seed Treatment Data,  12/26/18 10:44:43 AM

Soybean Seed Treatment Data—Below is the latest chapter in our soybean seed treatment story. This includes the average test results for the past 10 years. Agronomically, we think seed treatments are a standard item you should consider using every year. Yes, with later planted (May to June) soybeans, seed treatments lose a bit of their luster. However, economically, in a down commodity market, you may consider this cost as one you might remove to save a few dollars per acre. Given the results of the past 10 years, it is hard to argue the return on your investment. These are multiple treatment tests vs. the untreated check of the same genetics. The following table looks at one consistent treatment across all years vs. the untreated check. Here is our current data:
Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Crop Soybeans Soybeans Soybeans Soybeans Soybeans Soybeans Soybeans Soybeans Soybeans Soybeans
Treatment Cruiser Max Cruiser Max Cruiser Max Cruiser Max Cruiser Max Advanced Cruiser Max Advanced Cruiser Max Advanced Cruiser Max Advanced Cruiser Max Advanced Cruiser Max Advanced
Rate 3 oz /cwt 3 oz /cwt 3 oz /cwt 3 oz /cwt 3.2 oz /cwt 3.2 oz /cwt 3.2 oz /cwt 3.2 oz /cwt 3.2 oz /cwt 3.2 oz /cwt
No. Trials 3 3 5 15 10 10 6 6 6 8
Yield Difference Plus 6 Plus 4.9 Plus 1.4 Plus 2.3 Plus 2.8 Plus 3.5 Plus 5.27 Plus 5.16 Plus 2.92 Plus 4.8
Soybean Selling Price $9.50/bu $9.50/bu $11.00/bu $14.00/bu. $14.00/bu. $9.50/bu. $8.00/bu. $9.00/bu. $9.00/bu. $7.75/bu.
Gross Difference/A $57.00 $46.55 $15.40 $32.20 $39.20 $33.25 $42.16 $46.44 $26.28 $37.20
Net Diff. -$13.00 Trt Cost $44.00 $33.55 $2.40 $19.20 $26.20 $20.25 $29.16 $33.14 $13.28 $24.20
  10 year average = 3.90 Bu./Acre Treatment advantage = $24.53/Acre Net Advantage      
The 2018 story is one that all of us know too well.  We went from cold and dry planting conditions to wet and hot—quickly…We stayed generally wet across many locations.  Did/Can seed treatments have added benefits late season??  That can be debated all winter long.  Remember many seed treatments are somewhat built the same in the problems they address (phythium and phytophora mainly), BUT they will separate in the length of systemic control.  Also consider that they go a long way in the process of maintaining stand establishment.   
What about Ilevo?  Using BASF’s promotional material as a reference, they state:
ILeVO seed treatment is the only product that offers effective protection against Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) and nematodes in the seed zone, resulting in healthier plants and higher yield potential.
  • In 6 years of testing with 337 comparisons, ILeVO provides an average yield increase of 4.7 bu./A vs fungicide/insecticide base with a positive yield response 84% of the time. The yield advantage from ILeVO increases with higher levels of foliar SDS symptoms.
    SDS continues to be a major issue in soybean-growing regions. Once the soilborne fungus causing SDS is present in a field, it does not go away and can be spread by soil movement to neighboring fields.
    ILeVO is the only product that protects against both the root rot and foliar phases of SDS, making it the most complete SDS protection available on the market. In fields that have been infected with SDS, ILeVO has been shown to be effective in helping minimize the impact of the disease on yield loss.
    Nematodes cause significant yield loss every year across all soybean-producing geographies. Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) causes more yield loss in soybeans than any other pest. Complementing nematode-resistant soybeans with ILeVO adds another level of protection that results in reduced nematode damage and increased yield potential.
    ILeVO protects against key pests in opposing weather conditions. While nematode damage increases in hot, dry conditions, SDS thrives in cool, wet conditions. With ILeVO, your soybean crop is protected against both.
    For the best in soybean protection, pair ILeVO with Poncho/VOTiVO for unmatched control of the SDS fungus, nematodes and insects

    Although there is a marketing “spin” to the above statements, much of what is stated is true.  In our opinion Ilevo is the current industry leader when it comes to helping control SDS in soybeans.  SDS and SCN infestations have commonly been linked together and though no academics will confirm this thought, it would certainly make sense that if you have had SCN issues then there is likely an increased chance of SDS pressure   WHY??  Remember that Sudden Death Syndrome is caused by Fusarium solani f. sp. glycinea. It is a soil borne form of fusarium that attacks the soybean tap root.  It causes the tap root to become very discolored and there are few, if any, secondary roots. A blue stain may be present on the root. The pith (vascular plant tissue) is white. As leaves drop, petioles will remain attached to the plant.    I mention all of this to bring out the consideration that anything that attacks the soybean root system (SCN), those affected plants would LIKELY be more susceptible to the affects of an SDS infection.   Remember that ILEVO IS NOT A NEMATICIDE.  It main strength is to combat the ill-fated affects of SDS
    Agronomically, we think Ilevo combined with either Cruiser Max Advanced or Acceleron Complete has been our seed treatments.  Our data does not have near the 336 sites that are mentioned and also does not have that much (4.7 bu./acre) of a yield advantage, however, it was the best yielding seed treatment for us in 2016 and 2017.   This past year it came in 1 bushel under the standard Crusier Maxx and Acceleron.
    The only problem is that we cannot make the economics of the combined seed treatment work on an annual basis, across all testing environments, to recommend it as a consideration for your soybean purchases.  This is largely due to the fact that there are inconsistent levels of SCN/SDS present in our testing areas.  WE SAW MORE SDS THIS YEAR, than any other prior year.  The patterns of distribution was generally around the field edges and amounted to a small percentage of the entire fields.    Hardly a reason to use Ilevo treated seed for the entire field. In 2018, the pattern of SDS infection and amount of acres infected was good and bad for the producer, but, hard to develop and consistent message surrounding merits of this type of treatment.  Now, IF you have had a history of SCN and ALSO a SDS problem, then the economic return picture drastically changes and you can likely afford the added seed costs associated with the combined seed

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