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Research Highlights

Research Highlights
Researcher evaluates seed treatments

By Kentucky Soybean Board

The six-month progress report from Dr. David Ferguson of Murray State University is in. This study is a continuation of the previous two years’ study with slight changes for improvements.

The study’s aim is to evaluate the agronomic benefit of various types of seed treatments, including a systemic fungicide type, a second fungicide type, a systemic insecticide type, plant defense activator treatment, lipo-chitoooligosaccharide with inoculants treatment, a bio-stimulant type, three treatments with a combina­tion of products and a control treatment.

Each plot will be monitored for disease and insect pests in or­der to study the reasons for the responses to the various seed treatments.

Planter improvements were made for this year’s trials, with John Deere Radial Bean Meters installed on each row. These seeding units singulate the seed and provide more uniform seed­ing between the different seed treatments. Graphite-talc seed lu­bricant was utilized for all seeding of plots.

The study crop was planted on May 9, which was as soon as the soil was dry enough to plant. The extremely wet spring conditions prevented earlier planting, a situation to which many Kentucky soybean farmers may re­late.

The experiment en­compasses ten different seed treatments with eight replications to im­prove accuracy for a total of 80 plots. Each plot is 30 feet by 26.25 feet, and the row width used is 15 inches.

The different seed treatments tested are listed in the table at right.

New differences this year, compared to last year are: Treat­ments 5 and 6 had the fluxapyroxad fungicide added to the Ac­celeron combination treatments. Treatment 10 is a new treatment being tested this year.

Stand counts were taken on May 25, June 15, and June 22. Although the planter was set to plant approximately 113,000 seed per acre, the actual plants per acre was much lower. The seed tag listed the percent germination at 90 percent. The estimated emergence rate was only 66 percent, possibly because of the wet spring conditions. The plants stands were low, but should be favorable to evaluate the effects of the various seed treatments.

There were numerous statistical differences in plants per acre between the treatments. Treatment 8 with ipconazole, metalaxyl, and LCO & inoculant and Treatment 4 with the harpin protein had the highest number of plants per acre.

The group of treatments with upper intermediate plant stands were Treatments 4, 5, and 6. Interestingly, Treatment 2 with the insecticide thiamethoxam was also in this group.

This suggests that this seed insecticide had beneficial effects in protecting the seeds and seedlings early in the season. At the other end of the spectrum was treatments with a lower plant stand values.

Treatment 1 with the mefenoxam and fludi­oxonil was in this group with lower plant stands. Interestingly, this fun­gicide combination did not protect the seeds as much as some of the oth­er treatments.

Treatment 9 was the control with no seed treatment and also had a significantly lower value. It is clear that in this 2013 season, the seed treat­ments had significant ef­fects on the plant stands.

Late Season Notes:
On September 13, disease ratings were taken for Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) and brown spot. The prevalence and severity reflected more of the drainage areas of the field, rather than the treatments.

To find research related to this Research Highlight, please visit the National Soybean Checkoff Research Database.