• Seed

The Yield Equation: Where Do Seed Treatments Fit?

Treated corn seed being poured into a planter.
Did you know that an effective seed treatment helps your crop establish a more even stand? That benefit alone offers season-long advantages. Of course, seed treatments can also help protect against early-season insect and disease pressure and promote vigorous emergence.
Don’t overlook the benefits of an effective seed treatment. Be sure you know what active ingredients protect your investment and consult with your trusted agronomic advisor to compare seed treatment options.

Understand the yield equation

So how do seed treatments influence yield potential? There’s a simple equation I like to use to demonstrate the relationship:
Corn yield = weight per kernel x kernels per ear x ears per acre
Seed treatments help optimize the last two variables of the yield equation: ears per acre and kernels per ear. Most standard seed treatments' fungicide and insecticide active ingredients help protect the seed against early-season stresses. An effective seed treatment promotes healthy, vigorous, uniform seedling emergence, and helps optimize the number of ears per acre and protects the growing seedling as it begins to determine the numbers of kernels per ear it will produce early in the season.

Know what’s on your seed

Seed treatments probably aren’t your first consideration when purchasing seed, but it is an important one to protect your investment. There are a lot of seed treatment formulations, rates and components available at different price points, so you need to quantify those price differences to make an apples-to-apples comparison between products.
To make sure you’re getting the protection you need, ask your seed dealer these questions:
  • What fungicides are included in the treatment, and at what rates? What diseases do these fungicides help protect against?
  • What insecticides are included in the treatment, and at what rates? What insects do they help protect against?
  • Is there any nematode protection included?
  • Are there any other components that could help protect yield potential?
It’s common for most corn hybrids to include a standard fungicide and insecticide seed treatment for protection. Since 2019, select CROPLAN® corn hybrids have included an extra zinc seed treatment, Fortivent® Zn, in addition to fungicide and insecticide active ingredients at no additional cost. Zinc is an essential nutrient for vigorous corn seed germination, helping promote consistent emergence and even stands. Data from 41 Midwest Answer Plot® locations in 2018 showed, on average, a 4.8 bushel per acre yield advantage for hybrids treated with Fortivent Zn compared to the same untreated hybrids.
Starting with the 2022 planting season, all CROPLAN hybrids will include Fortivent® Plus seed treatment.1 Fortivent Plus builds on the foundation of Fortivent Zn. It combines the early-season insect control of Poncho® VoTiVo® seed treatment, ethaboxam fungicide for enhanced pythium control and Fortivent Zn for early corn development. CROPLAN is one of the only seed brands to offer zinc as a standard treatment on all commercial hybrids to promote early-season growth and root development. 

Get support as you make seed selections

The bottom line is that seed treatments aren’t all the same, and they don’t offer the same protection and benefits. Ask the right questions and seek data to support seed treatment product claims. Your local WinField® United retailer can help you find the best products to fit your budget.
1 Some carryover products may not include Fortivent® Plus.
All photos are either the property of WinField United or used with permission.

© 2022 WinField United. Important: Before use always read and follow label instructions. Crop performance is dependent on several factors many of which are beyond the control of WinField United, including without limitation, soil type, pest pressures, agronomic practices and weather conditions. Growers are encouraged to consider data from multiple locations, over multiple years and to be mindful of how such agronomic conditions could impact results. Answer Plot, CROPLAN, Fortivent and WinField are trademarks of WinField United. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.