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Sorghum Seed Treatments – An important and required buying decision.

Sorghum seed treatment

Sorghum Seed Treatments – An important and required buying decision.

Sorghum Seed Treatments – An important and required buying decision.

One of the decisions that growers must make when buying seed is choosing the appropriate seed treatment package. When you purchase seed from Sorghum Partners, you will have two or three options to choose from, that is  grain or forage sorghum seed.  As a rule,  grain sorghum seed will be colored red and forage seed will be green. The forage segment is broad and includes silage, sorghum x sudan, sudangrass, or millet hybrids,.

Sorghum Partners Seed Treatment Options

Three choices – Base, Safened, and Safened/Insecticide are available depending on the seed segment you need.   All hybrids are treated with Apron Maxx,  a mixture of Mefenoxam and Fludioxonil that protect against seed borne and seedling diseases. These fungicides prevent or reduce the impact of seed borne diseases Phomopsis and Sclerotinia and  major seedling diseases including Fusarium, Phytopthora, Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Sclerotinia. Providing seed and seedling protection is necessary to achieve optimal plant stands .  Forage sorghum hybrids are offered with the Base treatment only as standard option.

Safened seed contains Apron Maxx plus Concep herbicide safener.  Concep protects sorghum plants from damage from chloroacedimide  herbicides such as metolachlor that control grass and pigweed species.  Apron Maxx plus Concep safener is the standard treatment for grain sorghum hybrids.    Forage sorghum hybrids can be ordered as Base treatment only or Base plus Concep.

Table 1. Cruiser insecticide improvement in yields in sorghum in KS.
Treatment Yield (bu/acre)
Cruiser 108.3
Safened 102.8
LSD(0.05)      2.9

Sorghum Partners’ Safened/Insecticide seed treatment package contains, Apron Maxx, Concep, and Cruiser. Cruiser is a systemic insecticide containing Thiamethoxam that controls a wide range of soil and foliar feeding insects including aphids, leafhoppers, beetles, thrips, whiteflies, cinch bugs, soil grubs and wireworms.   Apron Maxx, Concep plus Cruiser treatment is available for grain and forage hybrids and is recommended for early  planting and  no-till seedbeds  . A seed applied insecticide like Cruiser  helps protect the plant from early season pests and under slow growing conditions.  Kansas State University researchers found Cruiser treated seed produced a 5-bushel yield increase over untreated seed (Table 1.) even in fields where scouts found very low insect populations.    Undetected levels of insect feeding can  still affect early season growth and final  yields.

The impact that seed applied insecticides have on Sugarcane Aphid (SCA) control is another reason that growers may choose Safened/Cruiser treated seed. Research conducted at Louisiana State University  found  normal rates of seed applied insecticides like Cruiser significantly reduced SCA infestations for the first 40 days after planting (Jones et al., 2015).  The period of control was extended when seed was treated at the highest labeled insecticide rates.   Sorghum Partners customers have experienced similar  results in commercial fields  and offers  higher Cruiser rates upon request. This has been an important tool in protecting yields in sorghum hybrids that have lower SCA tolerance.

Nutrients and Microbials

Sorghum Partners does not offer nutrient or microbial seed treatments.. Our research and development team has conducted seed treatment trials with a wide range of products in both greenhouse and field conditions for many years.  Response to these products have been inconsistent. Starter or pop-up fertilizer applications remain one of the most effective ways to provide early season, concentrated nutrient supplies to sorghum seedlings.


Sorghum Partners recommends growers take advantage of our seed treatment options.   Base fungicide, herbicide safened, and safened with insecticide seed treatments offer growers excellent returns on investment plus risk management options.    Safened/insecticide treatments can offer real yield advantages at harvest in early season plantings and reduced or no-till systems .  Safened seed provides herbicide options for protection from yield robbing grass and pigweed competitors.


Jones, N., S. Brown, S. Williams, K. Emfinger, and D. Kerns. 2015. Efficacy of neonicotinoid seed treatments against sugarcane aphid in grain sorghum. Arthropod Mgmt. Tests 2015:1-2.