Introduction and Objective

  • Biological seed treatments have the potential to enhance emergence, early season growth, and final yield in soybean.
  • It is difficult to visually identify the impact of biological seed treatments.
  • Research was conducted in 2018 to develop new methods for classifying early season stress and use remote sensing to quantify early growth characteristics for new biological seed treatments.

Study Description

Experimental Design:

- 25 locations across the U.S.; 3 replications per location.

- Paired row plots (12 foot length with 3 foot alley).

- One soybean variety per location.

- 12 seed treatments, including 10 experimental biologicals.

Chart - experimental design for soybean seed treatment study
  • Data Collected:

- V1/V2 growth stage remote sensing evaluation for emergence, plot greenness, plot vigor.

- End of season maturity and yield.

Early season soybean rows, treated & untreated

Figure 1. Early season vigor images; Untreated (Top), 2018 product standard (Middle) and Experimental 10 (Lower) at Washington, IA (planted 5/11/18 and imaged 7/10/18).


  • Fifteen locations were classified as having high early season stress based upon weather data analysis.
  • Experimentals 3, 7, 9, and 10 had significantly better vigor compared to the 2018 product standard at high stress locations (Figure 2, top).
  • Experimental 10 was the only component with significantly higher final yield performance compared to the 2018 product standard (Figure 2, bottom).


  • New methods have been developed to identify environments with high levels of early season stress. Using the environmental stress data in combination with image analysis has enabled a better quantification of biological seed treatment performance.
Vigor and final yield of experimental biological seed treatments (15 Locations with high early season stress).

Figure 2. Vigor and final yield of experimental biological seed treatments (15 Locations with high early season stress).

Authors: Jeff Hegstad, Seed-Applied Technologies and Biologicals - Global Lead Analytics; Keith O’Bryan, Seed-Applied Technologies and Biologicals - Global Lead Biologicals and Fungicides

July 2019

The foregoing is provided for informational use only. Please contact your Pioneer sales professional for information and suggestions specific to your operation. 2018 data are based on average of all comparisons made in 25 locations through December 1, 2018. Multi-year and multi-location is a better predictor of future performance. Do not use these or any other data from a limited number of trials as a significant factor in product selection. Product responses are variable and subject to a variety of environmental, disease, and pest pressures. Individual results may vary.

Lumigen™ technologies

Components of LumiGEN™ technologies for soybeans are applied at a Corteva Agriscience production facility, or by an independent sales representative of Corteva or its affiliates. Not all sales representatives offer treatment services, and costs and other charges may vary. See your sales representative for details. Seed applied technologies exclusive to Corteva and its affiliates.

PIONEER® brand products are provided subject to the terms and conditions of purchase which are part of the labeling and purchase documents.