Insect Management Benefits from Corn Seed Treatments – Corn Belt

Growers have many variables to consider when making seed treatment selections. Seed treatments address many problems and there are several different products to choose from. Knowing the facts about different seed treatments is the first step to making the best decision for your corn crop.


What are the benefits of using seed treatments for corn?

Using seed treatments has become increasingly popular in commercial agriculture. Seed treatments have proven to be a convenient method to battle early-season insects and diseases as well as promoting early-season plant growth. Having stronger seeds means that more seeds produce a corn plant and when used correctly, corn seed treatments can often improve yield and grain quality. Establishing a healthy stand can help improve yield and grain quality.


What types of corn seed treatments are available?

Different seed treatments are used alone or in combination to address or prevent a number of pests, diseases and nutrient deficiencies and to enhance plant growth. These treatments include insecticide, fungicides, nematicides and plant growth regulators.


Why are farmers embracing seed treatments?

  • Improved seedling emergence and plant health, especially in no-till or conservation tillage management.

  • Viable alternative to foliar and soil applications.

  • Protection against some above and below-ground pests including some that introduce fungal, bacterial and viral diseases.

  • Reduction or elimination in the number of insecticide foliar sprays due to targeted protection against insect pests.

  • Higher yield potential and reduction in the use of natural resources, energy, money, and labor.

  • A more efficient use of pesticides and other chemicals.


What insect pests can be controlled with seed treatments?

Insects than can be controlled with a seed treatment such as Acceleron® Seed Applied Solutions with either the 500 or 1250 level of Poncho®/VOTIVO® are:

  • White Grub (Figure 1)

  • Wireworm (Figure 2)

  • Seedcorn Maggot (Figure 3)

  • Southern Green Stink Bug

  • Southern Corn Rootworm

  • Corn Leaf Beetle

  • Thrips 


White Grub in Soil
Tobacco Wireworm in Soil
Photo courtesy of Maiusz Sobieski,

In addition to these insects, certain nematodes can be controlled with Poncho/VOTIVO®. The following is a list of corn nematodes controlled or suppressed:

  • Dagger

  • Lance

  • Needle

  • Pin

  • Ring

  • Spiral

  • Sting 

  • Stubby Root

  • Stunt


What are my options for below-ground insect control if I do not use an insecticide seed treatment or an in-furrow insecticide?

There are no reach back insecticide treatments to control below-ground insects such as wireworm, white grub or seed corn maggot if an insecticide seed treatment such as Poncho® or an in-furrow insecticide treatment is not used at planting.


Hopkins, M. 2015. Seed treatment: advantages and limitations. CropLife.


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