DECATUR, Ill. — A new seed treatment, unveiled by Pioneer at the 2023 Farm Progress Show, aims to provide extra protection for early-planted soybeans.
LumiTreo, a fungicide seed treatment, targets three of the primary diseases in soybeans — phytopthera, fusarium and rhizoctonia.
“From a farmer perspective, they may not know what diseases are in every field or in every pocket of every field. What we try to do is provide the highest level of protection we can to cover them against anything they might see across an entire field,” said Brad Van Kooten. Van Kooten is the U.S. marketing manager for seed-applied technologies for the Pioneer brand.
LumiTreo will be available for the 2024 sales season for customers who buy Pioneer brand seed. The fungicide seed treatment contains three active ingredients, including oxathiapiprolin, the active ingredient in Pioneer’s Lumisena fungicide seed treatment.
“We are really excited for LumiTreo. It hits three of the key diseases that threaten farmers when they are trying to establish a soybean crop,” Van Kooten said.
As soybean planting moves earlier and earlier in order to achieve higher yields, Van Kooten said the company has seen increased demand for customers for amped-up seed treatments to protect seeds and seedlings against early-season soil and weather conditions.
“Several years ago, a farmer might consider whether or not to treat soybeans. Now, for most farmers, that is just how they plant soybeans, they don’t think about whether or not to treat corn, now they think the same way about soybeans. They know they need that protection for those cold, wet soils, that might also slow seedling growth and development. And insects that attack that seed have more opportunity when it is cold and wet,” Van Kooten said.
Van Kooten said Pioneer offers a full portfolio of products designed for full-season protection of soybeans.
“Our standard package has a very robust fungicide and insecticide package but we see farmers increasingly using products like ILEVO, which is really effective against sudden death syndrome and soybean cyst nematode. We’ve got a newer insecticide seed treatment called Lumiderm and we see farmers investing in additional insect protection,” Van Kooten said.
In addition to boosting yields, farmers are looking at products like LumiTreo as a way to protect their seed investment.
“We really look at farmers trying to win at the start, trying to get out of the gate early. The genetics they plant from Pioneer get better every year so the need for protection is higher,” Van Kooten said.
But even if farmers plant soybeans later, changing weather patterns could mean similarly wet, cold soil conditions. LumiTreo provides protection regardless of calendar or planting date.
“With early planting and cold conditions, we know that seed treatments provide a bigger advantage but we see that advantage through normal planting conditions also. Weather is beyond our control. You can have cold, nasty weather in May, maybe not as frequently as in March or April, but you can have it happen. So we see farmers making the decision to treat that seed, regardless of when it gets planted,” Van Kooten said.
The Pioneer lineup has field credibility and testing behind it, as well as years of research and development.
“We are testing these products for years and years before we sell them. The last stage is two years of field testing. That is testing in the field with our customers,” Van Kooten said.
The products that go through those final stage field tests are the same products that are intended for customers, he added.
“We test the exact recipe. We know, with all the things we are putting on that seed, sometimes they don’t always work well together. We can be really confident, when we sell something with the LumiGEN, the advanced seed treatment lineup from Pioneer, when that customer plants that seed, we’ve tested it, we know all the ingredients work well together and our customer can be confident that they are going to have a good outcome,” Van Kooten said.