Seed Treatments Show Promise

After spending the initial six years of his first decade in agriculture at Bayer, working to development the On Demand seed treatment application system, Jaco Van Der Westhuizen faced quite the task as seed treatment manager at behemoth retail outlet Crop Production Services (CPS).

“When I took over this role, one of the first tactics we tackled was consolidating seed treatments,” says Van Der Westhuizen. “Last year at CPS we supported over 100 different seed treatment products, and that is just crazy in today’s world. Think about that as far as inventory-wise and training and all of the reporting on the back-end that’s required, it’s easy to see why we had to completely simplify our lineup.”

Jaco’s daunting task illustrates the predicament many ag retailers likely find themselves dealing with on a year-to-year basis: the seed treatment market, expected by many to double globally by 2018, is loaded with technologies and purported solutions.

A Loaded Arsenal

When it comes to Research Triangle Park, NC-based BASF, 2013 proved a suitable year for its line of corn and soybean seed treatments.

“Stamina fungicide seed treatment, the core active ingredient in the BASF seed treatment portfolio, was an important player within the corn, wheat and cereals markets in 2013,” says Justin Clark, technical market specialist. “We look forward to building upon this success with future products that offer growers more tools to get the most out of every acre. The coming years will continue to be promising for BASF in seed treatment.”

Clark notes that BASF has plans to introduce a new fungicide seed treatment for corn by mid-decade.

Bayer CropScience’s flagship seed treatment, Poncho/VOTiVO, saw some ideal weather conditions that helped demonstrate the product’s effectiveness this spring, according to Ethan Luth, Seed Growth product manager.

“When you look at a year like this year, where we had kind of a rough start with a lot of late planting into cooler soil temperatures, the beauty of a product like Poncho/VOTiVO is that you still get consistent performance no matter what the environment is,” he says. “Plus, this is the only product with both insecticide and nematode protection in a single formulation on the market.”

Loveland Products, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of CPS, currently has a couple seed treatment solutions in its product portfolio, according to Marty Robinson, seed treatment market manager.

“Equity’s uptake in the market was pretty substantial this past year,” he says. “The product has a low use rate, so it’s very dealer and applicator friendly, and it’s a four-way product (three fungicides and one insecticide) so it adds an additional fusarium and phomopsis mode of action as well.”

Loveland also markets Consensus, a plant growth regulator (PGR) with three specific modes of action, in soybeans and wheat. “The seed germinates faster, then another component aids in early root development and then it also provides for plant stress protection against pathogen attacks or cool/wet or hot/dry soils,” says Robinson. “Last year was our first full year with this product in the market and I’d say several million bushels of soybeans were treated with it, so it’s gone quite well.”

Consensus contains two active ingredients reportedly not found in combination in any other seed treatments on the market currently: salicylic acid, which provides for plant stress protection, and chitosan.

Combining Equity and Consensus has also proven prudent for many retailers, according to Robinson.

Monsanto’s top option in corn and soybean seed treatments, Acceleron, saw an increase in the number of retailers treating soybeans on-site with the product. Currently all Monsanto corn comes treated with Acceleron directly from the manufacturer.

“The product performed well in the market place in 2013 and we anticipate no new changes or reformulations to the product for 2014,” says Davie Wilson, product development manager, seed treatments. “We have nothing new coming out of our product pipeline for soybeans until 2017.”

Chicago, IL-based NuFarm, Inc., had a couple products making waves in the market in ’13. For corn it was Sativa 309 FS, according to Nathan Wright, seed treatment sales vice president. “That one’s getting a lot of excitement from national and regional seed companies for corn ear smut or head smut,” Wright says. “In fact, it’s one of the best products for that disease as a systemic seed treatment product, and some seed companies have done some internal testing of it on their own recently and it’s one of the products that kind of floats to the top in those studies I’m being told.”

NuFarm released a new soybean seed treatment to market in 2013, Spirato 480 FS, which enjoyed a relatively successful rookie year by Wright’s account.

“Spirato, containing fludioxonil — which is probably the most well-known base fungicide used across all crops — received a late fall 2012 registration,” he says. “That’s our base fungicide for soybeans and we of course mix other products with it. Something unique about Spirato is that it’s labeled across all crops so we actually sold it in sorghum, potatoes and sunflowers.”

NuFarm is also excited about its custom blend service for retailers, according to Wright. “The custom blend service is actually a step ahead of the industry because we can make sure the formula that we are putting out on the market is not above a labeled rate,” he says. “We can actually monitor product before it gets to the customer because we’re going to know what crop it’s for and what the right rates are on the label, and make sure the right polymers are in the mix to control dust off.”

Many companies (NuFarm included), concerned with the coming regulatory threat to insecticide seed treatments, are requiring a polymer be applied with all insecticides as company policy, says Wright.

“We think all of the neonicotinoid products will have more policy around the equipment and especially around the use of polymers, so you have better adhesion and lowering the dust-off potential with the right polymer,” he says. “We’re kind of trying to get ahead of the game and make sure anything that we put out there already has the protection built in up front.”

Syngenta, a manufacturer with perhaps more seed treatment technologies at its disposal than any of its competitors, saw two-fold adoption of its corn and soybean seed treatments this year.

In corn, Avicta Complete took the reins as the company’s top treatment, according to David Winston, Seedcare product lead. “Avicta Complete delivers triple protection against nematodes, early season diseases and insects, and with growers seemingly planting corn earlier and earlier each season, there are a lot of different environmental pressures and stresses growers need to manage.”

In corn, Vibrance, a SDHI-chemistry based fungicide product containing sedaxane for Rhizoctonia and head smut, will be added to Avicta Complete for the 2015 planting season. “This product helps drastically with root health, something that we need to focus on a little bit more in agriculture,” says Winston. “We need to pay just as much attention to what is happening underground as we do to the above ground parts of crops.”

In soybeans,  CruiserMaxx Beans applied with Vibrance was reportedly a top choice for growers looking for Rhizoctonia protection, according to Wouter Berkhout, Seedcare product lead. Vibrance helps soybeans withstand environmental stress; promotes healthier root performance; and delivers systemic root defense against certain seedborne, soilborne and foliar disease. “Through the use of Vibrance, soybean plants develop healthier, more robust root systems that lead to consistently higher yields,” says Berkhout.

Winfield, Shoreview, MN, focuses the majority of its downstream seed treatment solutions on soybeans, according to Mark Glady, regional agronomist. Glady, who manages Winfield’s 12 answer plots in the Western Minnesota/Eastern South Dakota region, saw a nice uptick in stand counts with Warden CX against untreated soybeans. Warden CX was in limited supply in 2013 due to a late registration, and will enjoy a full commercial launch for spring 2014.

“Warden CX is really our top-of-the-line, premiere seed treatment product,” says Glady. “It contains a brand new fungicide called sedaxane, which Syngenta is also formulating in some of its products, and the highest rate of mefenoxam in the industry for unsurpassed control of pythium.”

Glady claims the product is the only formulation on the market that contains sedaxane in a pre-mix with both an insecticide and a fungicide.

Meanwhile, at Valent U.S.A. Corporation, two seed treatments continued to make market headway in 2013, according to Jeff Weber, seed protection market manager.

“INOVATE just wrapped up its third year in soybeans and, although not all yields are in yet, the stand counts were seeing have been amazing,” says Weber. The product contains three actives, ipconazole, a low rate of metalaxyl and clothianidin, along with colorants and Lock Tight technology polymers.

“Lock Tight is our patented polymer — it really helps in the planter,” adds Weber. “We’re making it company policy that you cannot get an insecticide from us without this technology alongside it.”

Valent’s NipsIt SUITE line, which contains clothianidin and various rates of metalaxyl and metconazole depending on crop, also saw some nice adoption rates in wheat and sugarbeets.

“NipsIt SUITE is an optimum formulation that is very broadspectrum and very easy to use,” says Weber.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Fungicides Stories

FungicidesSudden Death Syndrome, Brown Stem Rot Reported In Indiana Soybeans
September 3, 2014
Farmers and retailers should be watching for symptoms of these two diseases over the next few weeks as they are best managed through preventative methods. Read More
FungicidesResearchers Target Soybean Disease With Genetic Resistance Study
August 6, 2014
University of Illinois researchers will share new information on controlling sudden death syndrome through genetic resistance at this year's Agronomy Day. Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesValent Launches New Seed Protection Fungicide For Soybeans
July 16, 2014
The INTEGO SUITE System contains the first new, novel seed protection fungicide chemistry registered in 30 years by the EPA for protection against Pythium and Phytophthora. Read More
FungicidesNew Players May Make Pest Headlines In Corn, Soybean
April 1, 2014
The usual insects and diseases took a bit of a break in 2013, but other culprits surfaced — and could return. Read More

Trending Articles

FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More
EquipmentNew Holland Acquires Miller-St. Nazianz
September 3, 2014
The assets of Miller acquired as part of the transaction will become part of New Holland Agriculture, a CNH Industrial brand, building on a successful four-year partnership between the two companies. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires East Kansas Chemical
September 2, 2014
Ranked 82nd on the CropLife 100, East Kansas Chemical will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More
ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science Review
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More

Latest News

Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
Many new products were introduced to the ag retail marketplace this year. From this group, CropLife IRON and its consulting partners have selected five finalists for the Product of the Year award. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Crowd Tops 2013 Show
September 19, 2014
The 52nd annual Ohio State University Farm Science Review welcomed more than 130,000 farmers, industry professionals, FFA students and agricultural enthusiasts during the three-day event. Read More
Seed/BiotechUSDA Approves Enlist Following Rigorous Review
September 18, 2014
Dow AgroSciences now awaits EPA registration of Enlist Duo herbicide, the companion herbicide to the Enlist traits, which is expected in the near future. Read More
BlendersYargus Appoints New Plant Manager
September 18, 2014
Steve Shaffer will direct and coordinate daily operations at the company’s Marshall, IL, manufacturing plant, where the Layco line of material handling equipment is produced. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires Kansas-Based Cedar Ridge Supply
September 16, 2014
Cedar Ridge Supply will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
StewardshipSecretary Vilsack Highlights Innovative Conservation Ef…
September 15, 2014
Nearly $16 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIGs) will be awarded to 47 organizations to help develop cutting-edge ideas to accelerate innovation in private lands conservation. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Responds To Cargill Lawsuit
September 15, 2014
Syngenta believes that the lawsuit is without merit and strongly upholds the right of growers to have access to approved new technologies. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Launches Mobile App
September 15, 2014
Smartphone and tablet users planning on attending the 2014 Farm Science Review can now download this year’s customized mobile application. Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Grower Sets Georgia Soybean Yield …
September 15, 2014
Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy's soybeans yielded an astonishing 110.66 bushels per acre, crushing the previous record of 82 bushels-per-acre. Read More
NIMITZ Treated vs Untreated pepper plant
InsecticidesNIMITZ Nematicide Approved By EPA
September 12, 2014
NIMITZ is a novel, non-fumigant nematicide with simplified application features, user safety and an active ingredient with a unique mode of action. Read More
InsecticidesMarrone Bio Innovations Receives Patent For Chromobacte…
September 11, 2014
The patent is the first step for MBI in developing a commercially viable product to inhibit infestations of corn rootworm larvae across America and other regions. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences: Keeping The Pipeline Stocked
September 11, 2014
Dow AgroSciences is embracing product diversity to drive the company’s future. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Is Official Partner Of New St. Paul Ballpark
September 10, 2014
The new ballpark in St. Paul, MN, officially became CHS Field with Twin Cities-based CHS Inc. revealed as the naming rights partner. Read More
EquipmentHagie Honors Farming Stewardship Leaders
September 10, 2014
The Iowa Farm Environmental Leader award recognizes Iowa farmers as environmental leaders that are committed to healthy soils and improved water quality. Read More
Precision AgPlantBeat: Your Plants’ Pulse In The Palm Of Your Han…
September 10, 2014
A new agronomic monitoring and recommendation service from Phytech could rewrite the book on real-time plant health status monitoring. Read More
StewardshipCCAs Making Headway With 4R Program In Lake Erie Wester…
September 9, 2014
Certified Crop Advisers are implementing the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification program in Lake Erie's Western Basin to improve water quality. Read More
MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
Crop InputsFMC Announces Cheminova Takeover
September 8, 2014
FMC Corporation today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cheminova, a wholly owned subsidiary of Auriga Industries. Read More