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Importance of Seed Treatment on Soybeans

By: Eric Phipps, Farm Nutrients Agronomy Sales

Have you considered adding soybean treatment to your soybeans this year? As we continue our cool, wet start to April, conditions are right for several early season pathogens that contribute to seedling loss in the early stages of soybean plant development. Simply adding seed treatment to your soybeans can put a quick stop to those pesky yield robbing diseases and protect your bottom. These are some of the diseases we are expecting to see this year:

Phytophthora Root Rot – This is a naturally occurring soil born pathogen, capable of living 10 years in the soil. PRR is most common in waterlogged or compacted soils. It attacks young seedlings, but may not cause plant death until later in the growing season. It can be managed by providing adequate field drainage, resistant cultivars, and fungicide seed treatment

Pythium Root Rot – Related to Phytophthora, this fungal-like organism lives in the soil and becomes more problematic in cool, wet soils. Commonly referred to as damping off, this disease kills the seed and/or newly emerged seedlings. Improved field drainage and fungicide seed treatment are the only control options as the Pythium species can infect multiple hosts.

Rhizoctoinia Root Rot – Much like the two previous pathogens, this fungal pathogen is enhanced by cool, wet soil conditions and is more prevalent in newly emerged seedlings, causing them to damp off. Infected seedlings have reddish-brown lesions on the stem at, or just below, the soil line. Delaying planting until soil temperatures reach 60 degrees and applying a seed treatment with fungicide reduces the risk of this disease.

Fusarium Root Rot – This pathogen attacks the roots of new seedlings, and is often accompanied by all the diseases listed above. Minimizing stress such as pH, compaction, drainage, and SCN in combination with a seed treatment containing a fungicide are the recommended management practices.

These cooler, wet conditions we are experiencing this year bring out the worst for soybeans. The good news is that you have the opportunity to protect your investment by simply adding a treatment package to your soybeans. Farm Nutrients highly recommends a seed treatment this spring to maximize your profits this fall and give you the peace of mind you need.