By Carrie Muehling
LEXINGTON – More and more farmers are realizing the benefits of applying seed treatments before planting.
In 2012, Brandt Consolidated invested in a seed treatment unit, which is housed at the Lexington location. Seeds are treated with fungicides, insecticides and nematocides to protect against a number of challenges that can hinder crop development.
“It helps the soybean. It’s protected early in the season against some of the early season pests which it’s going to fight against,” said Jason McArdle, Lexington plant manager with Brandt Consolidated.
Seed treatments on corn and soybean seeds protect against early season pests like aphids, over wintering bean leaf beetles, and seed corn maggots. They also promote higher yield by supporting a healthier root system and a more vigorous and uniform crop. Farmers who use seed treatments in addition to other management practices are seeing results as they protect the plant during a critical time. The treatments do not replace scouting fields throughout the growing season and making adjustments when necessary.
McArdle said about 85-90 percent of soybeans planted in this area are treated. Seed treatments are also used on corn. The fully automated seed treatment system minimizes potential down time, eliminates hand mixing and reduces the exposure to the user.
“As far as I know, throughout Illinois and Indiana, which is the only data I have, there are only a few of these in operation. So it’s a pretty neat thing to watch and to see,” said McArdle.
Brandt Consolidated will host an open house Tuesday, Feb. 27 at the Lexington location to demonstrate the seed treatment equipment.
Other considerations before planting
McArdle echoed many others in the industry who are encouraging farmers to pay close attention to the size of the soybean seed this year.
“We’ve seen soybean seeds this year as large as 2,150 seeds per pound, so that could really mess up your planting as you get closer to planting season. Look at your plates and your seed meters and make sure you’ve got all of that in line,” said McArdle.
He also outlined five factors he believes are the most important to raising a successful crop. Those include soil condition at planting, seed placement, seed quality, right hybrid in right field, and post planting management.
“If you can take care of those five things, then you’re going to go a long way towards getting the yield you want,” said McArdle.
Carrie Muehling can be reached at email@example.com.