Soybean Seed Treatment and its Uses

seed treatment for soybean
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Seed treatments for soybeans

To enhance seed quality, protect soybean against pests and diseases, and promote optimal germination and early plant growth, the soybean seed treatment method refers to the process of applying treatments or coatings to soybean seeds before planting.

Except for the seed treatment, read what other practices must be performed for planting soybean.

In soybean seed treatment, here are some common steps involved:

  1. The soybean seeds undergo thorough cleaning to remove any debris, damaged seeds, or foreign materials. Conditioning of the seeds may also involve drying or removing excess moisture.
  2. Seed treatment application: Typically, various treatments are applied to soybean seeds using a seed treatment machine or specialized equipment. These treatments can include:
    • Fungicides are applied to soybean seeds to protect them from fungal pathogens that can cause seed decay or seedling diseases.
    • Insecticides are applied to control insect pests that have the potential to damage soybean seeds or seedlings.
    • Some seed treatments may incorporate beneficial microorganisms or biocontrol agents, known as biologicals, which can aid in suppressing soil-borne pathogens or promoting plant growth.
    • Some seed treatments may include the incorporation of essential nutrients or micronutrients that can provide support for early plant growth and development.
  3. Seed Coatings: Seed coatings serve various purposes, such as improving seed flowability, enhancing planting accuracy, or providing additional protection against environmental stresses. Coatings can consist of polymers, colorants, or inoculants, among other components.
  4. Drying and storage: After the seed treatment process, the seeds are typically dried to achieve a suitable moisture level in order to prevent spoilage or clumping. Furthermore, proper storage conditions are maintained to preserve the quality of the seeds until they are planted.

To ensure effectiveness, safety, and compliance with local regulations, it is crucial to adhere to recommended guidelines and utilize registered seed treatment products. Farmers and agronomists commonly seek advice from seed treatment experts or consult specific seed treatment manuals for comprehensive instructions and best practices.

Note: The selection of seed treatment methods and products may vary based on factors such as geographical location, farming practices, and the prevalent pest or disease pressures in the region.

seed treated soybeanUntreated and Treated Soybean Seeds

Here are a few examples of seed treatment methods:

Seed Treatment with Fungicides

  a) The seeds can be treated with Carbendazim or Thiram at a rate of 2g/kg of seed 24 hours prior to sowing. Alternatively, they can be treated with a talc formulation of Trichoderma viride at 4g/kg of seed or Pseudomonas fluorescens at 10g/kg of seed.

● Biocontrol agents are compatible with biofertilizers.

● First, treat the seeds with biocontrol agents and then with Rhizobium.

● Fungicides and biocontrol agents are incompatible.

  b) To increase the field stand, the seeds can be coated with ZnSO4 at a rate of 300 mg/kg. To create the coating, you can use a 10% maida solution as an adhesive, with a ratio of 250 ml/kg of seeds. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of gruel and arappu leaf powder as a carrier, with a ratio of 250 g/kg of seeds. This coating process helps to enhance the field stand of the seeds.

 Seed Treatment with Biofertilizers

  a) It is recommended to treat the seeds at least 24 hours before sowing. This allows sufficient time for the treatment to penetrate and provide the desired effects on seed health and vigor. Treating the seeds in advance ensures that they are adequately prepared for optimal germination and establishment when sown.

To treat the seeds, use 3 packets (600 g/ha) of Rhizobial culture (COS-1) and 3 packets (600 g/ha) of Phosphobacteria. Mix these packets with rice kanji (glue) as a binder. To ensure effectiveness, it is important to treat the seeds at least 24 hours before sowing. The treatment should not be less than 24 hours in order to achieve optimal results.

If seed treatment is not desired or if there is insufficient time for seed treatment, an alternative method involves applying 10 packets of Rhizobium (2000 g/ha) and 10 packets (2000 g) of Phosphobacteria. This alternative approach can provide similar benefits to seed treatment for promoting plant growth and productivity. Additionally, mix 25 kg of Farm Yard Manure (FYM) and 25 kg of soil before sowing. Ensure that the bacterial culture-treated seeds are dried in the shade for 15 minutes before sowing.

These seed treatment methods help promote the presence of beneficial microorganisms and enhance the growth and development of the seeds.


1. When handling treated seeds, it is important to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Most seed tag labels will state that, at minimum, a long-sleeve shirt, long pants, and chemical-resistant gloves should be worn.

2. Treated seed is not to be used for food, feed, or oil processing. It is crucial to prevent treated seeds from entering the food or feed chain.

Uses of soybean seed treatment 

● Improved yields at harvest can be achieved by utilizing soybean seed treatments, which aid in enhancing seed germination, early season vigor, and crop establishment. 

● Neonicotinoid seed treatments, when applied to soybeans, provide protection to the developing seedlings against various early-season pests such as bean leaf beetles, wireworms, seed corn maggots, and white grubs.

● Basic fungicide seed treatment options offer valuable early-season protection against seedling diseases caused by pathogens such as Pythium, Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia, and Fusarium. Additionally, add-on fungicide seed treatments have been shown to effectively reduce the infection and severity of sudden death syndrome (SDS). These seed treatments play a crucial role in safeguarding soybean seeds and promoting healthy seedling establishment.

● Nematicide seed treatments help protect the roots of soybean plants from feeding by soybean cyst nematode (SCN). These treatments work by parasitizing the nematode, inhibiting nerve transmission, or creating a protective barrier around the roots to repel nematodes.



Read more about the importance of seed treatment

Further reading:

Soybean Diseases and Management Practice

Soybean Pests and their Management Practices

Soybean Seed Treatment and its Uses

Soybean Pre-Planting Practices: Soil Preparation and Planting Dates and Distances


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