Tend Your Seed Leftovers

Pamela Smith
By  Pamela Smith , Crops Technology Editor
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Cover up seed spills to protect wildlife from treated seed, Image by Pamela Smith

Seed treatments have become a tool of choice to prevent early-season insect and disease problems. However, the American Seed Trade Association and industry partners are asking for some housekeeping help to keep treated seed where it belongs.

Seed spillage during planting is a danger to wildlife--particularly birds such as Canadian geese, wild turkeys and ring-necked pheasants. Studies show planting equipment is nearly perfect in getting seed placed and covered by soil. Still, loading sites, field entrances, turnrows and planter cleanout areas should be monitored and seed covered with soil if it can’t be removed for proper disposal.

Keeping leftover, unplanted seed out of commodity grain channels is also critical. Farmers should completely remove all treated seed left in containers and equipment used to handle harvested grain, and dispose of it properly.

Stephanie Porter, an agronomist with Burrus Seed, Arenzville, Illinois, says Burrus has calculators to help growers estimate usage and avoid overage. If you want to keep leftover seed for future use, make sure to keep it in a cool, dry location to preserve the germ.

“We also have a system in place to help customers handle unused seed if the need arises,” Porter says.


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