Along with farmers, seed companies have noted that 2018 was a challenging year for soybean seed production. Late-season rains in many areas delayed harvests, impacting some seed quality. Because of these conditions, Nutrien Ag Solutions is recommending that growers and crop consultants pay extra attention to the germination ratings of the soybean seeds they buy this year. It is equally important for them to ensure they are making the best choices about the seed treatments they use.
“Work with your crop consultant to select the best combination of soybean variety, maturity and germination rating, and plant the best seed available,” says Tim Sickman, Research Farm Manager at Nutrien Ag Solutions. “From there, it’s critical to make the right choices about seed treatments. A fungicide package that includes contact activity is important. And technology is available to enhance germination to get your soybeans off to the best possible start and increase the likelihood of a strong yield.”
Equity VIP by Nutrien Ag Solutions contains TBZ (thiabendazole), an active ingredient that has contact activity against diseases such as phomopsis seed decay. The company also offers two seed treatments that are proven to increase germination:
- Consensus includes an ingredient, chitosan, that is specifically added to improve germination; and
- Dyna-Start PBC provides Consensus as well as a high-quality rhizobia inoculant.
Sickman notes that Consensus is also recommended for improving germination in cotton crops. “Cotton seed wasn’t as impacted last year as soybeans were, but faster germination is still important because it can lead to earlier emergence and plant vigor,” he notes. “Our testing has shown that Consensus provides an average seven percent increase in cotton germination rates, which can make a big difference in the long run.”