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Albert Lea Seed

Products Trial Data

Plantability of Treated Soybeans

From Dana Stubbendeck
Syngenta Seeds

There have been multiple reports of plantability issues with treated soybeans coming in from the field over the last week or so, from Ohio to Nebraska, and Kansas to North Dakota. This issue is not confined soley to CruiserMaxx or ApronMaxx.  We're seeing the majority of these issues relating to Kinze planters, but this is not exclusive…. and all planter types, seed treatments, seed sizes and seed brands have had reports of poor planting. The main issue here is the rapid swing in temperature and humidity that has been seen across the country over the past 10+ days. Many parts of the upper Midwest received 6-12 inches of snow on May 2nd and then temperature rapidly increased to as high as 95 degrees on May 14th.  Furthermore, there have been instances of frost in the Midwest as recently as last week. These rapid temperature swings wreak havoc on seed treatments. As the seed transitions from cool to warm, condensation can form in the seed packages and any moisture can cause even untreated seed to become tacky. This “sweating” can cause the seed treatment coat to soften as all seed treatments are designed to break down with relatively low moisture present. Ultimately, this is the double-edged sword of seed treatments. As these seed acclimates to the new temperatures, the sweating should lessen and the treatment will dry back out on the seed. Due to the lateness of the spring, growers are not going to wait for their seed to be fit to keep planting. Anything that can be done to accelerate the transition from cool to hot could be attempted, i.e. moving the seed out of conditioned storage or shaded warehouses to ambient conditions prior to delivery to the grower. This is not always an option, specifically for bulk seed.

The other option, and probably the easiest, is adding a supplemental drying agent or seed lubricant to the seed. The key to this is getting even distribution across the entire hopper volume during seed transfer versus just dumping the seed lubricant on top once the hopper is full. Talc is the preferred seed lubricant for helping to control moisture (compared to graphite),  but it comes down to the planter manufacturer recommendation on what type should be used. Depending on the planter make and model; graphite, talc or a blend of the two is recommended, but as stated earlier, talc is preferred for moisture control.  Please refer to your planter manufacture’s operators manual for the proper recommendation on what seed lubricant to use as well as the proper rate.  A talc/graphite blend is becoming more widely used among growers and seems to work well, which is essentially a 3:1 blend of 3 parts talc and 1 part graphite.

Read more in depth about soybean seed quality and handling of soybeans in difficult planting years by clicking here.

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