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Ready – Set – Grow!

SEED TREATING

Treating seed that gets put into the ground to grow a crop is nothing new.  Seed treatments have been utilized for many centuries. What is new in the game is applying nutrient seed dressings. Ensuring that the seed has the proper nutrients available early in its life cycle allows for maximum early season growth for that plant.

In the past, the biggest limitation to expanding seed treatment options has been the application of multiple products on seed.  With todays modern seed treaters and product formulations, we have the ability to apply up to 5 or 6 products at one time on the seed.  This has opened the door to expanding our seed treatment options into applying not only fungicidal and insecticidal seed treatments but also applying nutrients and bio-stimulants.

SEED PRIMING

Nutrient seed priming is a topic that has been explored now for a few decades.  There are a couple reasons that seed priming has become a popular topic of discussion.  The agronomical benefit of seed nutrient priming ensures that critical micronutrients are close to the seed and available for quick uptake.  This will ensure quick germination. Allowing the plant to get its first leaves established and taking in sunlight for photosynthesis.  Increasing plant size early on in the growing year will allow that plant to better handle stress.

One of the popular nutrients for seed priming has been zinc.  Zinc applied on seed for early season uptake has shown great success in giving the crop a jump on germination and early season growth. As yields increase, there is recorded dilution of seed nutrients occurring.  This can cause concern in germination vigor of the seed.

If we examine the economics of seed priming, it usually requires a significantly lower investment when compared to soil applied nutrients.  This is especially true when the grower is already treating the seed with a fungicidal seed treatment.  Here in western Canada, true micronutrient deficiencies are incredibly variable across our soil and it’s a challenge to apply products just to the affected acres.  One way to get around this issue is utilizing seed priming and applying nutrients right to the seed.

To get more information on the benefits of seed treatments, please give your local SynergyAG rep a call and find out how we can work with you to get your crop off to the right start.

Trick or Treat Your Seed

October is here, and as we’re out buying treats for the trick or treaters, it’s also time we start thinking about treats for our seeds. Seed treatment, that is. Fall to Winter is the optimal time to treat seed, as crops are being sold and the bins are emptying out, and it saves us time in the race that is Spring. At SynergyAG, we are home to world-class seed treatment facilities, where we can treat anything from cabbage to corn and everything in between with a variety of different seed treatments.

So Why Treat Your Seed?

Your seed is at 100% yield potential up until it is put into the ground. Once seeded, it is exposed to many stressors that reduce seed survivability, seedling vigor, and plant health. These stressors are environmental, insects, pathogens, and overall lack of starter nutrients. It is the role of seed treatment to protect the seed from these stressors. 

Seed treatments that are available here at SynergyAG come in three main forms: Protectants (Insecticides and fungicides), Biologicals, and Nutrients. 

Protectants

Seed is treated with Insecticides – neonic, and non-neonicotinoids – to protect the seed and seedlings from insects such as wireworms, cutworms, and flea beetles. Typically, these products are systemic. This means that the insect must consume a small portion of the seed/plant for the insecticide to enter their body, move through the Central Nervous System, and kill them: preventing further damage.

The other main form of protectants is Fungicides. These are used to protect the seed and future plant from soil-borne and seed-borne pathogens. These pathogens can impact the germination or infect the seed post-germination. 

Biologicals

Biologicals are applied to the seed to help the plants grow in drought, cold, heat, and other non-ideal conditions, and helps the plants grow even better in ideal situations. These biologicals deliver microorganisms and other natural compounds that help ward off soil-borne pathogens and help with nutrient uptake. 

Nutrients

Finally, nutrients that are vital for seed germination and seedling survivability are applied to the seed for optimal uptake. Seed-applied nutrients help to feed the seedling until they can access and utilize nutrients in and outside of its row. Common seed-applied nutrients are copper, molybdenum, zinc, and calcium. Each nutrient plays its own role in seedling development and germination.

Germination is essential to plant stand, plant health, and overall crop yield. Treating your seed allows for the plant to get off to a vigorous start by minimizing exposure to stressors.

At SynergyAG, we are here to provide an even, and hassle-free seed treatment that is tailored to your needs.  Contact your SynergyAG representative to discuss what seed treatment options are best for you. Don’t get tricked by what the soil throws at your crop. Treat your seed to help maximize your yield potential!

Does Your Seed Past The Test?

When growing a crop there are many factors that come into play during the growing season. Moisture, weed pressure, fertilizer source and fertilizer rates will greatly affect the overall yield and quality of the crop. We cannot do anything about “Mother Nature.”  So, we must make the best choices we can during the growing season to manage the hardships we can control.

First and foremost, we need to make sure we have the best seed possible. How do we make sure that this is attained before we start? Sending your seed to a seed lab is the first step. There are many seed labs across western Canada that will do this for you for minimal expense. Getting a complete seed test done will give you not only seed germination and vigor but will also point out specific fungi levels that are present on the seed.

GERMINATION

Germination is defined as “the development of a plant from a seed or spore after a period of dormancy”. The test is relatively straight forward. It is completed by dampening 200 random and placing them under a specific temperature. Over time, you will begin to see how your seeds will perform in the test. The seeds are split into different categories to determine what has been seen and documented.

  • Seedlings germinate normally, showing they can produce useful mature plants under favorable field conditions.
  • Seedlings that show some form of growth, but do not have enough plant structures to maintain a healthy plant.
  • Fresh Seeds. Seeds that fail to germinate but have imbibed water. They appear firm, fresh and capable of germination, but remain dormant.
  • Dormant SeedsViable seeds (other than hard seeds) that fail to germinate under the test conditions.
  • HardSeeds with coats that are impermeable to water, so they stay hard throughout the test period.
  • Dead Seeds that cannot produce any part of a seedling.

VIGOR

 Vigor is simply the strength and robustness of the healthy seeds ability to grow from emergence to a seedling. A common way to measure vigor is called a Cold Stress Test. Cold stress tests gauge the seedlings’ capability to endure the low temperature stress (5°C to 7°C) seen in early spring planting.

Cold stress tests are reported in two separate categories, emergence, and vigor.

  • Emergence is the ratio of seedlings that formed normally and quickly under cold conditions.
  • Vigor is the ratio of seedlings that have reached a predetermined minimum criterion to be considered high vigor.

The target for a high vigor seed is 80% emergence and 60% vigor. Expected field performance falls between the vigor and emergence principles under a variety of field situations and is significantly better when field conditions are more favorable.

FUNGAL SCREENING

 Another test that tends to be overlooked quite a bit is the Fungal Screen. This a quick growth breakdown of different pathogens and fungi on a sterilized petri dish that are present within and on the surface of the seed. Under the right circumstances seeds can develop and become an issue in the field if not fixed. This test is almost like a cheat sheet. We can figure out firsthand which type of seed treatment options will be the best for our specific crop and diseases that are present. Some labs may also retest the same seed using the seed treatment best used to control that specific disease. Fungi and Pathogens that are screened are as follows.

  • Cochlioblous sativus (Seedling blight, foot and root rot or spot blotch)-
  • Fusarium graminearum (Head blight) –
  • Fusarium spp.  (Seedling blight, root and crown rot, and head blight)
  • Pyrenophora spp. (leaf stripe, net blotch and tan spot)
  • Septoria spp.Septoria spp. (Leaf blotch)
  • Alternaria spp. (weak pathogen)
  • Cladosprium spp. (weak pathogen)
  • Epicoccum spp. (weak pathogen)

 These are just quick breakdowns of what seed labs can offer to you as a grower. Making sure you have got strong seed is extremely important if you are looking to grow the best crop you can. You only get one chance in the spring to get it right; so why not start with great seed! Contact your local SynergyAG rep to get your seed tested!

Ready – Set – Grow!

SEED TREATING

Treating seed that gets put into the ground to grow a crop is nothing new.  Seed treatments have been utilized for many centuries. What is new in the game is applying nutrient seed dressings. Ensuring that the seed has the proper nutrients available early in its life cycle allows for maximum early season growth for that plant.

In the past, the biggest limitation to expanding seed treatment options has been the application of multiple products on seed.  With todays modern seed treaters and product formulations, we have the ability to apply up to 5 or 6 products at one time on the seed.  This has opened the door to expanding our seed treatment options into applying not only fungicidal and insecticidal seed treatments but also applying nutrients and bio-stimulants.

SEED PRIMING

Nutrient seed priming is a topic that has been explored now for a few decades.  There are a couple reasons that seed priming has become a popular topic of discussion.  The agronomical benefit of seed nutrient priming ensures that critical micronutrients are close to the seed and available for quick uptake.  This will ensure quick germination. Allowing the plant to get its first leaves established and taking in sunlight for photosynthesis.  Increasing plant size early on in the growing year will allow that plant to better handle stress.

One of the popular nutrients for seed priming has been zinc.  Zinc applied on seed for early season uptake has shown great success in giving the crop a jump on germination and early season growth. As yields increase, there is recorded dilution of seed nutrients occurring.  This can cause concern in germination vigor of the seed.

If we examine the economics of seed priming, it usually requires a significantly lower investment when compared to soil applied nutrients.  This is especially true when the grower is already treating the seed with a fungicidal seed treatment.  Here in western Canada, true micronutrient deficiencies are incredibly variable across our soil and it’s a challenge to apply products just to the affected acres.  One way to get around this issue is utilizing seed priming and applying nutrients right to the seed.

To get more information on the benefits of seed treatments, please give your local SynergyAG rep a call and find out how we can work with you to get your crop off to the right start.