Vegetables and Fruit forum: Treated corn seeds - what's in it?

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Name: tabby
denver, colorado zone 5
Charter ATP Member Clematis I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader
Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Colorado Ponds Roses Sempervivums
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tabby
Aug 1, 2012 5:40 PM CST
This year I planted corn from Henry Fields, which has now started treating all their corn seeds with some kind of coating. Henry Fields website says the coating is to enhance germination and provide vigor and protect against soil born diseases. So, I thought, no big deal, it's treated with a fungicide to prevent rot in the soil.
Recently I have read that corn is commonly treated with systemic pesticides such as Imidacloprid to kill soil pests such as the seed corn maggot among other pests. I'm thinking that killing the maggot would classify as enhancing germination. I've contacted Henry Fields multiple times asking what is in their seed coating, but have not received a response.
Does anyone know what is in the coating they put on their corn seeds? Is it just a fungicide or is there also a systemic pesticide.
If I don't find out what is in this coating, I'll find another source for my corn seeds in the future. Right now I have a lovely stand of corn, that until recently, I thought was pesticide free.
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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farmerdill
Aug 2, 2012 9:02 AM CST
Traditionally, the treatment has been Thiram a fungicide. Different suppliers have been trying newer fungicides. Crookham for example has been trying combinations of Maxim, Thiram and Captan. all non-systemic fungicides. The newer systemic fungicides are coming on line Dividend and Apron. http://www.crookham.com/content/guidelines-sweet-corn-seed-t.... Note that the vendor normally buys treated seed from the supplier and that means multiple suppliers. This blurb is from Gurneys, sister company to Henry Field http://www.gurneysblog.com/uncategorized/treated-seed-corn-a...

That said, I will only use treated seeds as good emergence is the key to a good crop.
Name: tabby
denver, colorado zone 5
Charter ATP Member Clematis I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader
Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Colorado Ponds Roses Sempervivums
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tabby
Aug 2, 2012 9:47 AM CST
Thanks very much Farmerdill.
I noticed that the guidelines in the link are dated May 14, 2003, but I can't find any that are more recent so I am hoping those guidelines are the guidelines still in effect. I don't have a problem with fungicides to protect seeds from rotting in the ground.

I did a lot of searching last night and found multiple recent studies of treatments for sweet corn seed. All contained fungicides which is something I don't have a problem with. But half of the trials had systemic insecticides added as well to the treatment such as Cruiser which contains Thiamethoxam. Thiamethoxam is a systemic neonicotinoid that remains int he plants vascular system throughout the growing season. This is deadly to the insects that eat any part of the plant and probably also to the bees that take in the pollen. And there are a lot of bees taking in the corn pollen. Six hives worth on my property plus more hives up the road. The tassels are alive with bees.

I suspect Henry Fields hasn't responded to my question because they don't know the answer. They buy treated seed from the suppliers but don't know exactly what the seed is treated with since it could change from supplier to supplier. I'm going to hope that it's just a fungicide this year and my bees are safe.
[Last edited by tabby - Aug 2, 2012 3:21 PM (+)]
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Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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farmerdill
Aug 2, 2012 3:03 PM CST
http://www.syngentacropprotection.com/assets/assetlibrary/ca... Cruiser is being used by some some developers like Syngenta. While it is a European product, the French have led efforts to ban neonicotinoids including Thiamethoxam, clothianidin, Imidacloprid due to its potential effects on pollinators. Most vendors will alert growers using trademarks like Insect Guard (Harris) or Attribute ( which is a Bt GMO from Syngenta)

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