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Seed treatments increase yield

Nebraska

New winter wheat seed treatments have proved very effective, increasing yield by a bushel or two per acre even when no disease is detected, said a University of Nebraska-Lincoln specialist.

Western Nebraska Crops specialist Bob Klein said the small, consistent increase in yield more than pays for the treatment, while the treatment is crucial in controlling or preventing disease.

Wheat diseases appear every year and Klein often sees damaged fields that could have been saved with treated seed. He recommends that producers select certified, treated wheat seed. Choose varieties that have performed well in local tests, he said.

"I just don't think you can afford to gamble and not use a seed treatment, especially with the quality of seed treatments we have today," Klein said.

Klein highly recommended that these treatments be professionally applied. He said that producers used to try to mix their own treatments, but without professional equipment they couldn't get the treatments distributed evenly. As a result, producers seldom got very good performance from the additives.

Professionally-applied seed treatments will pay for themselves in the good times, as well as preventing a great deal of damage in those years when wheat diseases pose a problem.



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