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CropTalk: Let’s Hear it for the Escalate®

September 2022

Published on Thursday, September 1, 2022

While most growers don’t have seed treatment top of mind in September, here at Beck’s, we certainly do. Our teams will soon begin the processing efforts that will continue for the next six months, working diligently to clean, treat, and package corn and soybean seed for the next planting season. We wanted to inform you of some exciting changes we’ve made to our Escalate® with Nemasect® corn seed treatment and offer a few important reminders regarding our soybean, wheat, and Great Harvest Organics seed treatment packages.



You will see some changes to our standard Escalate on corn seed treatment package, but it will still come at no additional cost. The updated package will protect corn seedlings from over 25 diseases, insects, and nematodes.

We’ve added a few fungicides to the mix, taking the total fungicide count from six to eight for 2023. Expect the same great disease protection you’ve come to know, but now with a few new bells and whistles like improved performance on Fusarium and Pythium and protection against Head Smut. In two years of field trials, this new and enhanced fungicide package has outperformed the industry standard fungicide blend by over 5 Bu./A.



In addition to the fungicides, you’ll still see great protection from two insecticides and one nematicide for above and belowground pests. Well-known Poncho® is still in the mix at a 500 rate for all corn units. Poncho acts as a systemic insecticide, protecting against a host of insects, including seedcorn maggot, corn rootworm, cutworms, chinch bugs, thrips, etc. When applied to a corn rootwormtraited hybrid, Poncho500 delivers, on average, a 10 Bu./A. yield advantage to a seed-applied fungicide base. Since 2018, Nemasect has been a workhorse for Beck’s Escalate corn package in the nematode arena. While nematodes are something we can’t easily spot, they do put a hurt on corn yields.

One of the more exciting changes for Escalate on corn in 2023 is the addition of a few bio-stimulants, taking the total coun to three. This trio of bio-stimulants works in various ways to improve germination, emergence, and uniformity of stand. While one bio-stimulant enhances the speed and entry of moisture into the seed to increase the total germination rate, another promotes root hair development to increase nutrient uptake. The third positively impacts the soil rhizosphere by solubilizing phosphorus and potassium in the soil. With this trio of bio-stimulants, expect to see enhanced emergence and increased vigor.



There are no changes to Beck’s standard Escalate | Nemasect | SDS+ seed treatment or our upgraded Escalate | Nemasect | SDS+ ILEVO® TWO.O® option for 2023. Farmers can still expect great protection from early-season pests.

Our base treatment is anything but basic. Escalate | Nemasect | SDS+ protects seedlings against a host of pests with three hard chemistry fungicides and one bio-fungicide. From a seedling disease front, this base seed treatment package has activity on Phythophthora Root Rot, Pythium, Fusarium (Sudden Death Syndrome), and Rhizoctonia, four of the primary seedling pathogens for soybeans.

Nemasect comes standard on every unit of soybeans and might be the most important product available for soybeans today. Beck’s has offered protection against Soybean Cyst Nematode, Root- Knot Nematode, and other plant parasitic nematodes for the past four years with Nemasect. Five-year data over 200+ locations across the Midwest has shown a 3 Bu./A. yield advantage to Nemasect over our competitor’s fungicide base. Why is this such a big deal? A nematicide purchased downstream from the competition would cost a customer an additional $10 to $12/unit, whereas, with Beck’s, it’s included at no additional charge. This biological nematicide also acts as a biological insecticide, protecting the crop against underground pests like wireworm, white grubs, seedcorn maggot, etc.

To round out the base (but not basic) package, Escalate | Nemasect |SDS+ also includes a bio-stimulant to help with root elongation and nutrient uptake.

For enhanced disease protection, Escalate | Nemasect | SDS+ ILEVO + TWO.O is available for an additional $10.95/unit. This upgraded package includes all the benefits of our standard soybean seed treatment, but with the addition of ILEVO (fungicide) and TWO.0 (biological).

ILEVO works in two ways, providing an additional mode of action again fusarium, the causal agent of Sudden Death Syndrome, and offering another mode of action against many plant parasitic nematodes. The biological TWO.O works to enhance soil health by feeding beneficial soil microbes.



Wheat planting season is upon us, and you might wonder what products are in Beck’s Escalate on wheat. All Beck’s wheat comes treated with three fungicides, one insecticide, and one biological root inoculant at no additional cost.

The fungicides protect against Pythium, Common Bunt, Dwarf Bunt, Flag Smut, Seed-Borne Septoria, Loose Smut, Fusarium Seed Scab, and Rhizoctonia Root Rot.The insecticide offers protection against aphids (reducing yellow dwarf virus from aphid vectoring) and Hessian fly. Planting after the fly-free date is still preferred when possible.

Lastly, the biological SabrEx® Root Inoculant for Wheat/Cereals has two Trichoderma strains that help boost root mass, increase tillering, and improve yields.



Great Harvest Organics (GHO) seed treatment mix combines beneficial ingredients that are OMRI Listed® and provides unique benefits for corn and soybeans. All GHO corn and soybean units have two yield enhancement products applied, OBT2001 WP and BioST® Organic VPH 9.0.

OBT2001 WP is a microbial seed-applied product that helps increase the availability and uptake of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. OBT2001 WP is made up of two biological components: Bacillus amyloliquefaciens and Bacillus methylotrophicus. These components help solubilize phosphate by reducing soil pH, displaying antifungal activity, and converting atmospheric nitrogen into plant usable form. Bacillus methylotrophicus also produces siderophores that naturally chelate iron.

BioST® Organic VPH 9.0 is a bio-stimulant seed treatment from a unique vegetal protein hydrolysate. It is comprised of a unique and consistent ratio of peptides and amino acids that promote enhanced healthy seedlings. Benefits include enhanced seedling emergence, promotes root hair development, an instant usable nitrogen source, a natural chelating agent to enhance nutrient uptake, and reduced effects from climate stressors.

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Jonell Winger

Jonell Winger

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