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CropTalk: 2021 Escalate® Seed Treatment Update

October 2020

Published on Thursday, October 1, 2020

Each year, Beck’s plants a plethora of plots to evaluate individual seed treatment components and combinations available in the industry to ensure our offering is the best available. For 2021, both corn and soybean seed treatments are changing to improve our Escalate® yield enhancement system further. In corn, the seed treatment will receive an additional broad-spectrum fungicide. In soybeans, there will be a more robust seed treatment included at no additional charge. There will also be a premium seed treatment that can be added where the disease and pest pressure warrant additional protection.


For corn in 2021, our already comprehensive seed treatment gets a sixth fungicide for additional protection. The fungicide is Stamina® (active ingredient: pyraclostrobin), which will provide additional control from some of the main seed and seedling diseases that impact corn each year. In addition to providing another mode of action (MOA) against Pythium, Fusarium, and Rhizoctonia, Stamina increases seedling vigor in certain cold soil conditions.

With the addition of the sixth fungicide, our corn seed treatment will now contain 12 MOAs, including two on nematodes and two to control many of the insects that impact seed and seedlings. As in the past, Escalate on corn will include polymers and a fluency agent to ensure the products stay on the seed, while also improving seed flowability through all seed handling equipment, including center fill planters and seed meters.


For the 2021 growing season, the new standard soybean seed treatment, included at no additional charge on every bag of seed, is almost identical to the premium seed treatment offered for the 2020 growing season. It will still have the sudden death syndrome (SDS) protection from last year’s treatment and the white mold suppression from Heads Up®, but it will no longer include the neonicotinoid insecticide product on either of the 2021 treatment options.

The standard seed treatment will now include three fungicides, one bio-stimulant, and one bio-fungicide, along with the bioinsecticide/ nematicide, Nemasect®, for insect and nematode protection. Nemasect is a biologically derived nematicide and insecticide that will be included on both levels of treatment to provide protection from soybean cyst nematode (SCN) and other nematodes that impact soybeans. Nemasect will also protect seed and seedlings from damaging soil insect pests like seed corn maggots, wireworms, and grubs.

The optional seed treatment upgrade, which can be ordered on soybean seed for 2021, will provide additional protection from two of the most important pests in soybeans: SCN and SDS. The additional protection and MOA come from the ILeVO® TWO.O. The TWO.O has been used in our corn seed treatment for the last two years, and we are now including it in our soybean seed treatment upgrade for 2021. The TWO.O component, like in corn, provides a stabilized enzyme that assists in breaking down the cellulose in organic matter. The sugars released from the organic matter decomposition provide a food source for beneficial microorganisms in the root zone for increased nutrient cycling and, ultimately, nutrient availability to the growing soybean plant.

The seed treatment changes made in both corn and soybeans for the 2021 growing season create a very robust disease, insect, and nematode protection package on every bag of seed. This will allow farmers to have even more confidence in planting early and starting out with a uniform stand in a wide range of soil conditions.

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Pat Holloway

Pat Holloway

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