This spring, one of our large barley growers in Montana decided to give our seed treatment a try. These are dryland fields and are at the mercy of the rains and weather without any other human intervention. He treated part of his seed and planted the treated and untreated seed side-by-side to see how they perform.
The importance of the seed treatment is particularly noted in dryland situations. The seed treatment applies a specific set of microbes along with additional micro nutrients directly onto the seeds. These microbes, including azotobacter, help the seeds build much larger, stronger root systems while the micro nutrients provide critical nourishment during the important early growth stages of the young plants. In addition, the microbes introduced with the seed treatment persist throughout the growing season. Their job is to convert unavailable soil minerals into plant-available nutrition. The larger root systems are able to absorb that extra nutrition while making better use of the moisture that does fall. The result is thicker, stronger, healthier plants with greater yields. You can read the article "Seed Treatment for Increased Yields" for greater detail on our seed treatment products and processes.
While both sides appear to be about the same height in the picture, the treated side (on the left) germinated earlier and more uniformly, with thicker, more vigorous plants which are supporting additional growth in the heads and seeds. As you can see from the picture, the untreated side of the field (on the right) has already run out of gas and is beginning to mature and die down while the treated side is still green and growing, continuing to fill the heads and seeds. The result will be a higher yield with a heavier test weight which consists of the additional minerals packed into the kernels by the longer growing season.
The untreated side of the field, with its less-developed root systems and weaker plants, has reached the end of its growth period and all the signals are telling it to hurry up and reproduce before it runs out of strength. The untreated barley will have a smaller yield, lower test weight, and less nutritious kernels.
Another grower over by Cut Bank, Montana treated the seed for 650 dry farm acres of Durum Wheat. This seed was planted next to another 250 acre dry farm field that was not treated. At harvest time, they had not had any rain on their fields for 85-90 days, which limited the yield of most crops. The treated field yielded 52 bu/acre with test weights of 61-62 lb/bu. The untreated field only yielded 40 bu/acre. Based on his current wheat prices, this grower netted an additional $89/acre, just by treating his seed. That is an additional $57,850 in profit for that 650 acre field!
We have seen similar results in fields throughout the US. We have treated wheat, barley, corn, and many other crops before planting and the results are always the same. The image at the right shows some treated vs untreated wheat plants. These were all planted on the same day and the samples were dug up on the same day. They have had the same nutrition and the same rainfall. The treated plants on the left show thicker growth and significantly more root development while the untreated plants on the right have thinner stalks and fewer roots.
For a visual comparison of treated vs untreated corn fields and plants, visit Corn Treatment Comparison - 2017.
As we have tested the crops from treated and untreated fields, we have noticed that generally, starch is filled first and minerals are filled later. This implies that the longer a plant can fill the grain head, the more nutritious the resulting grain will be. This is born out not only by greater yields, but by higher test weights and direct mineral analysis.
For an overview of our seed treatment products and processes, visit Seed Treatment for Increased Yields.
We have been helping farmers harvest high-yielding, heavy test weight, nutrient dense barley, wheat and corn for years. You can too! Contact us now at 435-753-2086 and treat your seed before you plant.