Preliminary Trial Results Show It Pays to Use Saltro®
In September 2019 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Saltro, a new seed treatment product from Syngenta Seed Care to control Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) and Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) in soybeans. For the 2020 growing season, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds distributed about 50 trials to Latham® dealers and their customers. Each on-farm trial consisted of a Latham® soybean treated with SoyShield Plus™ that was planted side-by-side with that same soybean treated with SoyShield Plus and Saltro. The majority of these trials were conducted within the parameters of Latham SuperStrip™ plots where a check variety was used to adjust final yield calculations. To date, we have received yield results from 25 of those studies: 16 from Iowa, six from Minnesota and three from South Dakota. I believe it’s worthwhile to share preliminary results with you.
Comparing the harvested raw yield data, the 16 trials from Iowa showed an average yield increase from Saltro of 2.01 bushels per acre (bpa). The Minnesota plots gave an increase of 3.85 bpa raw yield, and the South Dakota plots came in at 2.24 bpa. Overall, there was a 2.30 bpa yield increase from using Saltro in the raw yield column. The results were very similar when the harvested yields were adjusted to the check. The Iowa plots came in with a 1.84 bpa increase. The Minnesota trials showed a 3.73 bpa increase, and the plots from South Dakota averaged 5.40 bpa better. The overall average in the adjusted yield column came in at 2.31 bpa!
It should be noted here that there were a handful of trials where the seed treated with SoyShield Plus and Saltro actually showed a yield decrease. While it is difficult to understand and even more difficult to explain, results like this are very common when doing research of this type and are usually attributed to experimental error. I also want to note that we did not see widespread infestations of SDS in 2020. Due to variable weather patterns and a fairly widespread drought, SDS didn’t show up in a lot of fields. We intend to proceed with a similar Saltro study in 2021.
BOTTOM LINE: While more experiment results will be sent to us yet this year, there is a trend for at least a two bushel per acre yield benefit from using soybean seed treated with Saltro. With a retail cost of approximately $13 for the Saltro, the added yield benefits in a year where SDS was not widespread are fairly substantial. Using the soybean market price of $10.50 per bushel as I write this article, the treatment acted as an insurance policy that paid for itself.
Check back with us during and after our Post-Harvest meetings to get the updated yield results from this study.