Saltro Seed Treatment From Syngenta Wins Prestigious Agrow Award

Growers report higher yields and visible plant-health benefits after using the award-winning seed treatment in 2020.
Saltro Seed Treatment From Syngenta Wins Prestigious Agrow Award
These photos show soybean comparisons in Valmeyer, Illinois, during the 2020 season.
Seeing is believing: 2020 Saltro field results show soybean growers can have superior SDS protection without compromising crop safety.

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Saltro® fungicide seed treatment from Syngenta recently earned an Agrow Award in the Best Crop Protection or Trait Product of 2020 category. Scored by a diverse 10-judge panel, these awards showcase leading advancements in agriculture and best-in-class scientific, technological and leadership initiatives.

“The award from Agrow is a testament to the performance growers saw from Saltro in its first season,” says Paul Oklesh, product lead for Syngenta Seedcare. “Saltro is a valuable option for managing Sudden Death Syndrome [SDS] and soybean cyst nematode [SCN] without making growers sacrifice early-season plant health. Now soybeans are not only getting a higher standard of SDS protection, but also a much stronger start upon emergence.”

Until 2020, soybean growers working to protect their crop from SDS had one primary option for protection, but along with it came unwanted early-season side effects. Many growers put up with added stress early in the season to prevent complete crop devastation later. When Syngenta introduced Saltro last year, Oklesh says, growers no longer had to compromise plant health to protect their crop from SDS. Soybean growers who tried Saltro in its first year saw the upgrade firsthand in plant-health benefits and on their yield monitors.

The High Cost of SDS

Syngenta Agronomy Services Representative Zach Trower has seen the threat of SDS up close and in person.

“My territory in eastern Iowa is really in the heart of SDS country,” Trower says. “SDS can take off 20, 30 or even 40 bushels; and when you’re talking about an average of 70-bushel beans, the situation becomes very real.”

Oklesh says Saltro offers a step change in SDS protection that delivers on crop safety as well as best-in-class disease protection. Saltro contains ADEPIDYN® technology, an extremely powerful SDHI mode of action that outperforms older fungicide chemistries, allowing plants to reach their full genetic yield potential.

The beans treated with Saltro were coming out of the ground a lot more uniform. They were a stage ahead of the ILEVO beans that we had next to them.

Eric Scheller
Evansville, Indiana
Saltro also delivers robust activity across a broad spectrum of nematode species, Oklesh says, including SCN — a major contributor to SDS infection and the No. 1 yield-robbing pest in soybeans, with the potential to cost about $1.5 billion annually.

“SDS is an early-season disease that doesn’t show up until after the plant’s infected, and you have virtually no options to combat the disease after infection,” says Jeremy Patterson, a grower in Osage, Iowa. Patterson grows soybean for seed production and has new varieties on his farm every year. He keeps a close eye out for SDS and proactively uses fungicide seed treatments to limit potential yield loss from disease. In 2020, he saw up to a 2 bushel per acre (bu/A) yield increase with Saltro over ILEVO® seed treatment, even with low disease pressure.

Dave Byrum, a Syngenta Seedcare specialist, isn’t surprised by those results. Byrum remembers the early results of the Saltro fungicide seed treatment trials.

“I knew almost immediately in the plots against ILEVO that Saltro was going to be a game changer,” Byrum says. “There was a big difference in terms of crop safety; and when the crops were harvested, the proof was in the pudding. Saltro has absolutely lived up to expectations. Retailers appreciate the crop safety, yield benefit and application simplicity; and they say it’s a true step change in performance and handling.”

Plant Health Drives Yield Potential

Crop safety is not just about aesthetics. It can make a tangible difference in yield results at harvest. Although soybeans can outgrow the side effects from early-season above ground stress, they may not fully recover from the lower yield potential caused by below ground stress affecting the roots.

“When you damage those cotyledons — the food storage of the plant — the plant has to grow up to get more food and sunlight,” Trower says. “What we learned in 2020 is that those roots suffered because the plant was putting all its energy to get more food and not putting its roots down. Even in the absence of SDS but with intense weather conditions in Iowa like high winds and drought, we saw that the roots couldn’t get the water and nutrients they needed to grow. That’s something Saltro really brought to life. ILEVO-treated beans looked like they’d recovered from the stress; but in reality, root development was compromised. That can really be a factor in these drought years.”

Eric Scheller, a grower in Evansville, Indiana, split a field between Saltro and ILEVO in 2020 and experienced a visible difference, noticeable even from the highway.

“The beans treated with Saltro were coming out of the ground a lot more uniform,” Scheller says. “They were a stage ahead of the ILEVO-treated beans that we had next to them. All year they looked better — a deeper, darker color, and better overall stand time to canopy. Then in the fall, we saw a noticeable yield advantage — 5 to 10 bushels better. We've seen a lot of positives in plant stand and uniformity, and that is where we got yield for sure. I think Saltro is the next step in technology that we need to move forward.”

All photos are either the property of Syngenta or are used with permission.

Performance assessments are based upon results or analysis of public information, field observations and/or internal Syngenta evaluations.