Soybean Seed Treatments Offer Protection in Adverse Planting Conditions

DES MOINES, Iowa, March 23, 2010 - Snow and rain across much of the Corn Belt in recent months raises concerns for cool, damp soils this planting season. Experts at Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, offer seed treatments to protect soybean seedlings from fungal diseases and insect pressures related to potential wet spring conditions.

Applying seed treatments protects the soybean seed and seedling from diseases and early-season insect pressure such as bean leaf beetles and the viruses they transmit.

"Seed treatments can help reduce the need to replant," says Mick Messman, Pioneer senior marketing manager for North American seed treatments. "Because growers plant earlier, seed is in the soil longer. Adding protection, such as a seed treatment, protects a grower's seed investment and allows them to capture the yield benefits associated with early planting."

Growers practicing conservation tillage and no-till also find the use of seed treatments a viable management practice to help guard against placing the seed in a harsher environment with cool, wet soils and residue that fosters additional disease and insect pressure.

"With wet conditions likely this spring, more growers will have an increased need for seed treatments," Messman says. "Beyond protecting the seed from cooler soil temperatures and wet conditions, treatments also can have the capability to protect the plant through early growth stages."

According to Iowa State University, areas or geographies facing Phytophthora pressure will see increased yields and a higher economic return with the use of seed treatments.

The Pioneer Premium Seed Treatment offering includes Gaucho® insecticide and Trilex® and Allegiance® fungicides. According to Pioneer research, using a fungicide-insecticide combination has shown yield gains up to 2.3 bushels per acre in small plots with more significant yield gains in larger scale side by sides.

Pioneer also offers Optimize® as part of their 2010 soybean treatment. Optimize, a signal molecule and inoculant, improves stand establishment, root mass and early-season plant health and vigor.

"Using Optimize in the Pioneer Premium Seed Treatment offering, plants are healthier and more uniform," Messman says. "Inoculants aid in the nodulation process and nitrogen fixation, helping the crop achieve more of its genetic yield potential."

Pioneer tests seed treatments in many environmental and growing conditions. "Pioneer conducts seed treatment research at the local level, testing and selecting the best products for use on Pioneer® brand soybeans," Messman says. "Research shows a positive economic return when using seed treatments in a multitude of conditions, and this is a key reason an increasing number of growers are using treatments."

Iowa State University reports less than 3 percent of Iowa growers were using seed treatments 10 years ago, compared to more than 50 percent of growers using this management tool today. The university associates those changes with early planting and growers seeking to protect seed investments.

For more information on the Pioneer Premium Seed Treatment offering, contact a Pioneer sales professional.

Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, is the world's leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors. With headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, Pioneer provides access to advanced plant genetics in nearly 70 countries.

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.