Seed World

STEPUP 2.0 Encourages Uniform Pop-Up in Soybeans

An emergence difference of as little as 24 hours can dampen soybean yields from the get-go. What if you could provide farmers with the option to produce more consistent germination? Would it make a difference to them? Would it make a difference to you?

If your answer isn’t a resounding yes, you must not have heard the question right.

“This is the first product I’ve worked with that is consistent in every plot I have or have seen,” says Dustin Didier, owner of Didier’s Ag Center. “We started working with STEPUP 2.0 and it works… it’s everything they said it would be.”

STEPUP 2.0, by Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness, is a nutrition seed treatment that interacts with and responds to the seed by supplementing protein and amino acids released during early stages of germination. Trials show this creates a faster and more uniform emergence.

In Sanborn, N.D., home of Didier’s Ag Center, timely emergence is critical to combat the location’s tight planting window. For Didier, the uniform and early emergence defied his expectations.

“It almost works too well,” he jokes. “The beans came out of the ground a lot quicker than we’re used to – that’s good, that’s what we want. But for us to get our preemergent herbicides applied before the beans come out of the ground it really shortened that window.”

So, it took a little adjusting for Didier and his customers. They learned to send rigs out earlier to tackle weeds, allowing for the earlier and more consistent emergence.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s dry or too much rain, the yield benefit is always there and we’ve tested it for five years,” Didier adds.

Retailers Tout Ease-of-Use

STEPUP 2.0 is the newest formulation seed treatment for Wilbur-Ellis. It’s a higher concentration product, resulting in an overall lower use-rate which assists with better flow through the treater and planter.

“It’s really easy to blend and we don’t see bridging and some of the flow issues you’ll find with older products,” Didier says.

 At one-half ounce per 100 weight, it’s easy to use and provides strong return on investment for retailers and growers. Even emergence and strong early season vigor contribute to season-long success for farmers.

“Unequal plant growth results in yield losses; this is true even for soybean, despite its capability to compensate,” research from University of Passo Fundo, Brazil, states. Non-uniform germination and reduced seed vigor enhances intraspecific competition, which means resource use is less efficient.

Consistent Agronomic Benefits

Good early season growth is more than just making sure soil is at healthy fertility levels, it’s putting those nutrients into a form that’s easy for plant uptake.

“Seed uses proteins, nutrients and amino acids to complete germination,” says Danny Groves, Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness seed treatment specialist. “While the seed is using those, they need to be replenished quickly, which results in faster germination, more uniform emergence and more robust root mass.”

STEPUP 2.0 seed treatment uses amino acids to provide nutrition to young plants. It’s stable enough to be added to any commercial soybean treatment pre-mix.

The team at Wilbur-Ellis documents an average of 1.5 bu. per acre advantage when farmers use STEPUP 2.0. At current commodity prices, that’s a more-than $20 per acre boost with no steps at the farmgate.