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Considerations for Generic Soybean Seed Treatments

September 7, 2017
This agronomic photo shows a black and white photo highlighting generic-blend dust off from seed treatment.

Dust-off from a generic seed treatment

This is the second post in our ongoing soybean seed treatment series: What’s on Your Seed?

Low commodity prices for soybeans may have you scaling back and making tough decisions about your inputs. By no coincidence, generic seed treatments, which are cheaper than branded options, are becoming more common. So what can you expect to get out of these unbranded, custom blends?

Although these generic treatments are generally red in color and look similar to CruiserMaxx® Vibrance® Beans seed treatment, they are not the same. The lower cost of these generic seed treatments comes with increased risks. Here are some considerations that you need to prepare for if you choose generic seed treatments:

  • Dust off: Generic seed treatments often do not stick to the seed as well. This dust off means less of the treatment makes it on the seed, leading to a loss of effectiveness. Additionally, dust off can experience off-target movement according to the Penn State Extension.
  • Equipment clogging: Generic treatments are not tested as thoroughly and have a higher likelihood of not only clogging up the treater’s equipment, but on-farm equipment as well.
  • Incompatible mixtures and product separation: The active ingredients in generic treatments are not optimized for proper mixing and are more likely to separate like oil and water, as seen in the video below. This leads to seeds receiving inconsistent proportions of the ingredients. This means some seeds don’t receive enough of certain active ingredients, leaving them vulnerable to insects and diseases.

As you consider inputs for next year, remember that your seed treatment is an investment. Although generic seed treatments are cheaper, the performance is not a sure thing. When you are making your seed treatment decision, you cannot predict what the conditions will be when you plant – buying a generic seed treatment is a gamble.

What’s on your seed? Ask your retailer or seed treater today.

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