Yes, this may sound crazy at first glance, but I honestly believe your soybean seed treatment will pay better than your variety selection in most cases.

While no one can pick the best variety to plant for this year, we know on average yields are higher – in some cases significantly higher – when you use a GREAT seed treatment.

Here’s the problem:

Most seed treatments in the past had a couple fungicides and maybe an inoculant. It’s also possible you may have had an insecticide in there, but most products in the past have not included them. Sadly, even today at most seed dealers, you will be buying an absolutely inferior seed treatment package.


1. Get at least 4 systemic fungicides.

By bumping up the fungicide count and diversity, you’ll control more diseases later in the season. We commonly see tough diseases like pythium, rhizoctonia, and phytophthora suppressed for a couple months!

2. Get the highest rhizobia count possible for your inoculant.

Along with that, a great strain that will produce a lot of nitrogen. Make sure you have an extender for long-lasting viability on the seed.

3. Get a systemic insecticide that carries a free respray program for certain insects.

Once you’ve spent the money initially on the seed treatment, there’s no way you should have to pay for more insecticide to control soybean aphids, bean leaf beetles, grasshoppers, or cutworms later in the season.

4. Get a biological nutrient solubilizer.

As you probably know, your soil is absolutely loaded with nutrients… that unfortunately are unavailable for your crop. What we’ve seen with products like this are faster emergence, higher nutrient levels in the plant (verified with plant tissue testing), and higher yields. Not only that, but when your plant has more nutrients, it will likely have increased cold, salt, and drought tolerance, along with a more developed root system.

5. Get fungal endophytes.

This is going to seem weird, but fungal endophytes live symbiotically within plants as they grow and develop. We have found these fungi to increase tolerance to cold and salty soils, drought, and heat, along with general plant health enhancements.

6. Flowability.

I often tell seed companies and seed treatment providers I couldn’t care less about how well their product works if it doesn’t flow out of the seed tender and the planter. Make absolutely sure whatever seed treatment you buy has low dust-off and great flowability.

7. Get free replants and free seed treatment on those replants.

If you invest the money in the seed treatment, your likelihood of needing a replant goes way down. Nevertheless, free replants should be part of the deal.

With all this, I’m not saying that Hefty Complete will give you more yield gain than when you compare the very best versus the very worst soybean variety in every plot, as that difference is often 20 bushels. What I am saying, is you can’t guarantee any yield increase by switching varieties before the season. Even the best seed people in our industry have no idea which variety will be the top-yielder on your farm. On the other hand, we know that a great seed treatment pays.

The cost of Hefty Complete is just over one bushel of soybeans. By the time you add up the yield gain, free insect resprays, free replants, and free seed treatment on replants, on average you should gain far, far more than that.

If nothing else, please compare our seed treatment vs. an untreated acre planted the same day side-by-side. Here’s what you should see.

1. FASTER EMERGENCE. If you can be out there the day the treated beans pop out of the ground, you will almost certainly see the treated seed emerging hours, if not days sooner than the untreated beans.

2. MORE CONSISTENT STANDS. Within a few days after emergence, please do stand counts. Most of the time we find thicker stands where Hefty Complete has been used.

3. CHECK YIELD VERY CLOSELY. I mentioned that the cost of Hefty Complete is about one bushel of soybeans. Do you see one-bushel yield differences show up on your yield monitor? How about four bushels? Of course not. It usually takes 8, 10, or 12-bushel yield differences to even register on your yield monitor. Our request, if you aren’t a believer in seed treatments, is to weigh each pass because we are extremely confident that on average, you’ll get more than one bushel of soybeans back each fall.

I realize this article probably seems like a sales pitch to you, but our goal is always to bring you products at a good price that deliver a great value and an excellent chance for a positive return on investment. If you aren’t currently using our seed treatment or our beans, I would challenge you to put five of our varieties treated with Hefty Complete versus five competitive varieties with the competitor’s standard seed treatment. I would be shocked if our average yield isn’t at least a bushel or two more than the competitor’s.


For more information on Hefty Complete, as well as Hefty and Zinesto Brand Soybeans,