Seed varieties and hybrids that produce astounding yields have all their genetic yield potential the day they are sown. Growers achieve record-breaking yields by removing the environmental barriers, which would otherwise prevent the seed from achieving its potential. Seed treatments play a primary role in protecting seed from environmental conditions that keep the seed’s genetic yield potential from being realized. Seed treatments don’t increase genetic potential, they protect it.
The key is to know your genetics, know your environment, and find the seed treatment plan that fits best. Apply the same precision farming practices you would in determining which herbicides or insecticides to apply to a field. Assess the seed’s genetic disease and insect resistance profile; today’s genetics are much more inclusive of solutions than they were 10 years ago, even the non-GMO products. Focus on the remaining problems the seed is not genetically equipped to handle.
Then assess the target fields to understand the environment where the seed will be planted; not all seed-related diseases and pests are present in all areas. Know what problems will challenge the plant’s ability to achieve its potential. Finally, determine which products are best suited to counter those problems.
With precision in mind, it’s important to avoid the notion of throwing the “kitchen sink” at potential issues. Be intentional about your choices and find the supplier that will give you the flexibility to meet your local demands, not necessarily the demands of someone in another part of the country. Find the provider that is willing to offer you more than just a convenient bundle; you make the final decisions.
Remember, seed treatments are used to reduce the impact of the seed’s growing environment in allowing the seed’s genetic potential to be realized. Your job is to find a provider that can give you the best solution for protecting the seed from your local conditions.