It’s meeting and farm show season- a time for farmers to make plans and decisions for planting season. Seed companies are doing their best to set themselves apart from the rest to earn your business.

At last week’s Fort Wayne Farm Show, Seed Genetics Direct Vice President Todd Jeffries told us that customer feedback prompted some changes in their seed business.

“We were getting more and more customers asking to have their soybeans treated without an insecticide. So, I started digging deep into the issue. It was one of those things, the only positives I could find were from companies that make and sell insecticides.”

So, Jeffries started to dig even deeper. He found a 12-year, multi-university study that addressed the issue.

“It included Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa State, all the ag universities in the Corn Belt. And their study said there’s little to no benefit of insecticide on soybeans. It also said we’re killing off ground beetles, which is the number one predator for slugs. We’re getting more and more replants due to slug damage every year. And a big reason why is because we’re killing off their predator.”

That prompted them to remove the insecticide from their seed treatment. Since they took that out, Jeffries said they added a couple of things in.

“We added a product called Germate Plus that is a growth promoter. It’s a biological. And then, one thing we’ve gotten away from in the seed industry over the years is inoculation on soybeans. It’s kind of a pain to put on at the planter level and everybody forgets they need it until they’re getting ready to go out to plant. So, we did find an inoculant that once it’s treated on the bean, it lasts for 240 days.”

Their seed treatment now includes three fungicides, that growth promoter, and inoculant.

Seed Genetics Direct will continue their farm show season at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville Feb. 14-17, and then on to Houston for Commodity Classic in late February-early March.