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Pay Close Attention to Seed Tags This Spring

Pay Close Attention to Seed Tags This Spring
Tags will have vital information, especially on refuge-in-a-bag products.

In the old days the seed tag for a bag of seed corn was generally a small paper tag sown into the bottom of the bag. It was useful to make sure you had the right variety, and check the germination percentage. Even if corn has been held over, the percentage test must be run again and the germination percentage and test date placed on the tag. Maybe you also might have looked at the tag to see what kind of fungicide the corn was treated with.

It's a whole new ball game today. With hybrids with traits, the tag typically identifies which traits are included in the hybrid. Many companies print the trademark of the product, the trait or the insecticide if it's an insecticide-coated seed product, on the tag. And if it's a blended hybrid to meet refuge requirements for one or more traits all in one bag, some companies, at least, are including two tags, one for each hybrid in the blend.

On Pioneer Hi-Bred tags for their ACRE Max blends, for example, the tag contains all the required information, including origin of the seed, on the top half of the tag. The number of the hybrid is prominently displayed. The bottom half is devoted to trademarks for each trait or product used on that hybrid. The back side of each tag is devoted to the fine print- cautionary statements and other information that you should read when you can comprehend it clearly- not a t bedtime.

On one particular refuge-blended product, for example, each tag for each hybrid contains the Roundup Ready 2 trademark, the YieldGard Corn borer label, and trademarks for soil insecticide and fungicide treatments.

The difference is one hybrid has Herculex I protection against corn borer- that's the Optimum AcreMax above-ground protection. The other, the Optimum AcreMax above/Below Extra tag and Herculex Xtra tag indicates that this hybrid in the mix has resistance to both corn borer and rootworm. The refuge for corn rootworm is the hybrid which does not have the rootworm trait. It's blended together in the bag.

The labels can also carry other important information which can prevent costly mistakes. On this Pioneer label, for example, both tags carry a warning not to spray with Ignite, which is now again known as Liberty. The warning is that all seeds in the bag are not tolerant to glufosinate, the active ingredient in Liberty.

Be sure to look for all precautionary statements on the bag.
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