Treated Soybean Seed

CEO Report by Doug Miller

It has come to our attention that farmers may still have treated soybean seed that was not planted this spring.
First, treated seed must be handled and disposed of properly. Keep all treated seed out of the commodity grain channels. Visit for more information on the disposal of treated seed.

Second, soybean seed is not known for its ability to carry-over for planting in the following season. In general the temperature (in Fahrenheit) plus the relative humidity (in percent) should total less than 100 for the storage of most seed kinds. But consider the temperature and humidity the seed has experienced since it was delivered. Even today, Sept 27th, a predicted high of 87 degrees and relative humidity of 67% totals 154. Research at Iowa State University found that "Treated soybean seeds could be carried over for two seasons" at 40 degrees F and 40% relative humidity. If seed is to be used next season testing will be an important consideration before planting.

Seed storage conditions will obviously improve as we move to cooler temperatures with lower relative humidity i.e. fall and winter. Start with the labeled rate of germination. This represents the germination potential of the original product. Samples drawn in the next month or two should tell you the rate of decline in germination over the hot and humid summer. It may tell you if the seed is worth managing and storing for the winter. A spring sample will tell you if it is suitable for planting. However, sampling in the fall and spring will allow you to identify potential changes in the lot. Looking at the rate of decline over the winter will identify a rapidly declining seed lot. A germination test takes about a week to complete. But last minute sampling has its own set of issues. You will be busy and a last minute sample can turn into a week to month old test result if the weather does not cooperate with your planting intentions. You do not want the germination of your soybean seed lot to crash just when you need it the most. So knowing the rate of decline, fall and spring test, is important in my opinion.

If you do carryover seed avoid mechanical damage and loss of identity by keeping it in its original containers. Keep it dry and free from rodents and insects as well as any other environmental and biological threats. Seed quality was a challenge due to harvest delays in 2018 making seed for 2019 planting below average. It may be a false economy to carry over treated soybean seed. Also keep in mind that selling the seed is a bad idea. You likely do not have a license to sell seed, the seed label is out of date and the agreements from the seed company may identify you as sole owner and user of the seed. Above all else dispose of treated seed properly and keep all treated seed out of the commodity grain channels.  

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