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Mid-South Soybean Farmers Can Expect Economic Return with Seed Treatments, MSU Study Says

CANTON -- As planting time approaches, so does decision time for soybean farmers. When making decisions on which inputs to use, the question of profitability plays a major role in farmers’ calculations. New research, funded in part by the Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board (MSPB) and conducted by Mississippi State University (MSU), may make farmers’ decisions easier when it comes to seed treatments.

“The research looked at the complete package from location and varieties to maturity groups and planting dates,” said Dr. Normie Buehring, MSU researcher and project leader for this research. “With three years of data, we are able to confirm the seed-treatment results weren’t just a one-year event and there is an economic return for Cruiser® insecticide seed treatment.”

Buehring’s research evaluated selected varieties’ responses to a fungicide, ApronMaxx® RTA, and to an insecticide-fungicide seed treatment, ApronMaxx RTA plus Cruiser 5SF. The selected varieties were from maturity groups III, IV and V and planted in April, May and June at three Mississippi locations – Verona, Starkville and Stoneville.

“The three-year average yields across locations ranged from 27 to 63 bushels per acre,” added Buehring. “The differing environmental conditions allowed us to evaluate whether the insecticide seed treatment was economical at low and higher yields.”

When using ApronMaxx RTA and Cruiser, Buehring says soybean farmers can expect a yield bump of at least 2.0 bushels per acre over using ApronMaxx alone. The yield advantage for the study averaged 2.7 bushels per acre across all locations, varieties and planting dates.

During the three-year research period, very low levels of bean leaf beetles and thrips pest pressure resulted in very low levels of soybean leaf defoliation and thrips injury. According to Buehring, these results suggest the yield response to Cruiser may not only be related to control of insect pests but also to other factors. The ApronMaxx RTA plus Cruiser seed treatment seedlings were a little darker green in appearance, showed slightly better seedling vigor and were one inch taller at maturity than ApronMaxx alone.

“This study looked at a broad base of factors and resulted in solid data for mid-South soybean farmers,” added Buehring. “With market prices as low as $7 per bushel, mid-South farmers can expect an economic return from Cruiser regardless of maturity group, variety and planting date.”