In 2018, nearly 89 million acres each of corn and soybean were planted across the United States. The seed treatment products available for growers to use to protect these crops from damaging diseases, insects, and nematodes represent valuable tools during planting season. It is essential to ensure that these products are used in an efficient and responsible manner. The stewardship and sustainability of seed treatment products have been improved through several developments through the years. These types of technological advancements provide better stewardship by reducing the potential exposure of pollinators and other non-target species in our agricultural landscapes.

1 CEU in Pest Management

Stewardship: The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care
  • In a marketplace with consumers who have changing demands and are less connected to agriculture it is important to listen to them.
  • Sustainability brings companies together to make sure these technologies are used correctly.
Honeybee is a managed species – contributions around the world
Stressors that Affect Bee Health:
  • Pesticide
  • Parasites
  • Diseases
  • Beekeeping Practices
  • Weather Patterns
  • Nutrition
  • Queen Failure
  • Genetic Weakness
Reasons for decline in bee numbers?
  • Managed colonies number is way down.
  • Neonicotinoids were introduced in the 2000s; number of U.S. colonies is generally trending up since the time of introduction.
  • Colony Collapse Disorder—otherwise healthy hives that disappear—came to a head in 2008.
    • Maintaining overwintering hives. Want healthy colonies going into the winter so they can survive until the spring
Evolution of Seed Treatments
  • Prior to 1980s – Seedborne: focus on disinfection of seed
  • 1980s – Soilborne: focus on diseases and insects that affect seedlings as they germinate
  • 1990 to mid-2000s – Aboveground: focus on providing plant protection into the early growing season
  • 2000 to today – Application technology: focus on the development of new and better polymers and equipment to reduce dust abrasion and improve plantability. The right amount of active ingredients, making sure the treatment stays on the seed. Increasingly focused on nematodes, biologics.
Why Seed Treatment Application?
  • Applying to far less area of land
  • Seed Treatments Can Be Complex
  • Fungicide
  • Insecticide
  • Nematicide
  • Biological
  • Inoculant
  • Coatings are such an important part of seed treatment because they make sure the active ingredients stay put
Newer, Better Fluency Agents
  • Unlike talc or graphite, it is a polyethylene wax—flowability, singulation is the same, but less dust so the seed lubricant improves stewardship by reducing the potential exposure to pollinators
  • Significantly more dust comes off with talc vs. lubricant
  • Original fluency agent vs. talc
    • 88% reduction in total dust
    • 69% reduction in clothianidin dust
  • Fluency agent advanced vs. original fluency agent
    • 24% reduction in total dust
    • 24% reduction in clothianidin dust
Is there a potential for dust reduction and does it do its job with singulation and skips?
Fluency Agents
  • Stewardship product
  • Better flowability
  • Easier cleanup
  • Low use rate

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