Nebraska Soybean Board Chair Greg Greving says when leftover treated seed gets in a soybean shipment, it's a rare and, usually, honest mistake.
"What happens is some guys think that, 'Well, I'll just put these seed beans in with my semi-load of beans that I'm harvesting in the fall and just sell them and get rid of them.'"
But countries like China have strict rules against importing treated seed, and Greving says even one little bean can suddenly become a very expensive problem if an entire shipment is rejected.
He say a vigilant producer can make sure it doesn't happen.
"Just make sure that all seed beans are left as seed beans and not co-mingled with any of the soybeans that you harvest in the fall," say Greving.
Greving says that most producers are careful to set aside leftover treated seed and simply plant it next year. The Nebraska Corn Board says it isn't much of a problem with corn because those producers do the same thing. One seed corn company says they have a plan for treated seed that's being discarded.
In an email Pioneer Communications Manager Kerry Hoffschneider says they discard treated seed corn through state and federally approved outlets. She says one way discarded corn is used is as a fuel source to run processing facilities like cement plants.
Greving says treated seeds mixed in shipments can also cause problems locally and even between states.
"It's a mistake, and it's a very costly mistake to the producers and to the buyers of the soybeans," he says.