Back New research highlights seed treatment returns

Date: 30 August 2016

Research conducted at four locations during the 2015-16 growing season showed Poncho-treated maize seed produced an average of 3.3 tDM/ha more maize silage than seed that was treated with standard fungicide. This represents a significant increase in income for growers and highlights the benefits of using Pioneer’s Premium Seed Treatment® range.

“Each season we see growers who lose yield due to insect or bird damage” says Barry McCarter, Maize Product Manager for Pioneer® brand products. “Choosing the right seed treatment is an important step even if you are growing maize in paddocks which have been previously cropped.”

Pioneer’s Premium Seed Treatment® trials highlighted the key benefit of using insecticide treatment, lower plant losses and as a result a higher yield. They also highlighted the variability that exists between paddocks and growing environments.

“We saw losses of up 75,000 plants or over 9.4 tDM/ha per hectare when insect pressure was extremely high” says McCarter. “But at one of the sites, where the pressure was low, we lost very few plants.”

Figure 1: Standard fungicide treated seed (left) showing severe Argentine Stem Weevil damage resulting in silage yield loss of over 9 tDM/ha compared to the Poncho® treated plot (right).











McCarter recommends that every grower planting maize into a paddock which has been in pasture uses an insecticide seed treatment. Even growers who plant maize in the same paddocks each season should monitor established plant populations closely to see how many plants they are losing.

“It is hard to predict where insects like Black Beetle and Greasy Cutworm or birds will strike” says Barry. “Treating seed with an insecticide, a bird repellent or both can really reduce the risk of a poor yielding crop.”

Figure 2: Bird damage in a plot trial causing almost total plant stand loss. The surrounding plots were planted using Mesurol® treated seed.


Pioneer offers a comprehensive range of seed treatments options which are:

Pioneer Premium Seed Treatment® Range 


Pests Controlled


A treatment designed to control all three major seedling pests of maize.

Argentine Stem Weevil (ASW), Black Beetle & Greasy Cutworm.

Poncho®* Plus

Poncho®*and Mesurol®*

Argentine Stem Weevil (ASW), Black Beetle, Greasy Cutworm and bird repellent.


A treatment designed to control Argentine Stem Weevil (ASW) & Black Beetle.

Argentine Stem Weevil (ASW), Black Beetle.

Gaucho®* Plus

Gaucho®* and Mesurol®*

Argentine Stem Weevil (ASW), Black Beetle & bird repellent.


A bird repellent designed to reduce the probability of feeding damage by birds.

Bird repellent

Standard fungicide

A fungicide for the control of soil borne seed and seedling diseases.



For more information on choosing the right Pioneer Premium Seed Treatment® talk to your local Pioneer representative, seed merchant or contractor.

*Registered Trademarks of the Bayer Group