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Soybean Treatment and Inoculant

By April 13, 2018No Comments

Soybean Treatment and Inoculant

Derek Haug

When I started my first internship I was told that all I needed to know about treating soybeans is that you need to paint them and make them sticky. While this may over simplify what the product being used and the benefits it is an easy way to look at it.  At the time there was about 40 to 50 percent of producers using treatment and inoculant. Today when talking to producers and seed dealers that number is around 80 percent. When I first started in the ag industry it was explained that treating would pay for itself each year and every couple of years you would see a noticeable increase in yield. No producer wants to spend money on a product that does not have a return on investment, so we will look at the research that has been done on these products.

There are many different seed treatments available from the products of large bio ag companies to custom blends used by some seed dealers and seed companies. At Thunder we use and sell our own custom blend. There are also two types of seed treatment there is a fungicide and insecticide and a fungicide only. Some of the most well know seed treatments would be CruiserMaxx and Acceleron. Depending on where you get your seed and the product that they use a producer would need to see a one and a half to two bushel increase to cover the cost of these treatments. This is for a fungicide and insecticide with an inoculant. Thunder uses and sells Vitalis inoculant. There are options that can bring the price up including a nematicide that would require another bushel or so increase to pay for the treatment.

While doing research for this post I tried to find the data that best fit our geographical footprint. One of the first studies I looked at was from NDSU by Greg Endres this study looked at seed treatment from 2012 to 2015 with 11 sites per year. In this study it showed that soybeans treated with a fungicide and insecticide showed a 3.4 bushel per acre advantage over those treated with just an insecticide. The same study showed that inoculating soybeans had a half of a percent yield increase over soybeans that were not inoculated from 1999 to 2016. In another study done by Dr. Fred Below with the Illinois Soybean Association from 2012 to 2016 he shows that treated seed can emerge faster and grower quicker under certain conditions. He also states that treatment can improve stand count by 5000 to 15000 plants per acre.

There are numerous other studies out there to look at if you would like to do some more research. There are also videos that show the difference between treated and untreated seed planted at the same time. Based on the studies you can see that there would be an economic benefit to treating and inoculating your soybeans. After reading this and doing your own research I am sure you will agree that treating your soybeans is the way to go.



Below, F. (2017, February 9). Webinar: The Six Secrets of Soybean Success. Retrieved March 20, 2018, from

Endres, G. (2017). Http:// Soybean Production Factors – Research and Recommendation Update. doi:10.18411/a-2017-023