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CropTalk: Don’t Let Your Organic Seed Go Naked

June 2021

Published on Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Faster, more uniform emergence. Early-season disease and insect protection. Higher yields.

The benefits of seed treatment on corn and soybeans are well known and widely accepted in conventional farming situations. Yet, when it comes to organic seed treatment, there remain questions and concerns from some farmers: concerns around safety, environmental impact, and compliance with organic certifiers.

Right now, the industry is experiencing soaring commodity prices. For example, in a conventional farming situation, Beck’s 11-year, multi-location Practical Farm Research (PFR)® data shows an average ROI of $49.00/A. with a conventional seed treatment (Beck’s Escalate®) vs. no treatment.

Can the same be said for organic seed? There is opportunity for organic farmers to capitalize on these increasing prices, too. A single, organic seed becomes so valuable that it’s hard to rationalize leaving potential yield and profit on the table (or in the ground) by NOT using a seed treatment.



Benefits of Treating Organic Seed

Treating organic seed can lead to faster, healthier seedling emergence and a big “win” for organic farmers who may be facing tougher weed pressure and competition than conventional farmers. There’s also the benefit of uniform emergence for consistent utilization of moisture and nutrients plus higher yields. Speaking of nutrients, some organic seed treatments encourage uptake and increase the availability of key, naturally occurring soil nutrients like nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in plants.

Beck’s Organic Seed Treatment

Because of the many benefits of a seed treatment, Beck’s offers an organic mix of products on all Great Harvest Organics (GHO) branded corn and soybeans. One factor for selecting treatment components is to help boost the seedlings’ chances during the uncertainty of spring weather by getting the seedling emerged out of the ground as quickly and healthily as possible. In addition, it’s vital for the components to be safe for both the farmer and the soil.


  • Biological bio-stimulant and bio-catalyst to improve plant health
  • Products are safe to handle and safe for the environment
  • Flows well through the planter
  • Increases early-season vigor of seedlings to help them outgrow insect pests, and diseases

For farmers concerned about compliance with organic certifiers, certain components in the GHO seed treatment are OMRI Listed®, with downloadable certifications and additional information found on the OMRI website. These new ingredients are highlighted below.


Great Harvest Organics corn will come treated with Organic 1r Seed Treatment from SoilBiotics. This OMRI Listed product is an organic, humic acid and its benefits include:

  • Increased strike rate for faster germination and uniform emergence
  • Increased stand counts
  • Increased early-season vigor to help plants outgrow insect pests and disease pressures

To learn more about SoilBiotics and Organic 1r Seed Treatment, visit /Products/Seed_Treatments


In 2021, OBT 2001 WP by Osprey Biotechnics and BIOST® Organic VPH 9.0 by Albaugh, LLC will be added to the seed treatment mix for GHO soybeans. Both products are OMRI Listed.

Benefits of OBT 2001 WP and BIOst® Organic VPH 9.0 include:

  • OBT 2001 WP is a microbial seed-applied product that helps increase the availability and uptake of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).
  • The availability of additional N, P, and K support the development of bigger roots, which helps increase uptake of moisture and nutrients to enable better plant growth and increased yield potential.
  • BIOst® Organic VPH 9.0 provides a bio-stimulant response, enhanced nutritional response, and abiotic stress reduction.
  • Both products promote faster and stronger emerging seedlings.

*Will be added to all GHO soybeans for Spring 2021 planting at no additional charge.

Whether planting GHO certified organic seed or not, it’s important to consider adding a seed treatment in organic farming operations. For more information on Great Harvest Organics seed and seed treatments, talk with your local Beck’s representative or reach out to Beck’s Seed Enhancements Lead Jonell Winger at or Great Harvest Organics Brand Manager David Ross at

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Jonell Winger

Jonell Winger

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