Same crop. Same variety. Same lot number. Yes, you did read that correctly.
Everything about these two pictures below is the same, except one has seed treatment. The photo on the left showing the final germination of the untreated seed sample covered in aspergillus and fusarium (mold) and the right shows the treated seed germination, mold free and ‘perfect’ as we like to say in the lab.
If you notice that most of the untreated seed is dead vs the treated seed is mostly, if not all germinated. This correlates back to how your seed would withstand being in the soil once planted and throughout early vegetative growth stages. The dead seed clearly did not germinate, therefore would lead to a poor stand in your field, leaving the farmer to replant. The untreated seed is more susceptible to insects eating the embryo of the seed and soil borne diseases; all things that could and probably are going to kill your seed.
Now-a-days, seed treatment is a very important necessity and just about every bag of seed you buy has treatment applied. The treatment protects the seed throughout the storage months, continues to still protect the seed from pathogens living in the soil and as the seed germinates and develops into early growth stages.
A good analogy to think of is – people wear coats in the winter or unpleasant weather conditions to protect themselves from harsh conditions, seed treatment acts as the ‘coat,’ it helps protect the seed during harsh conditions in storage and once planted into soil. As the seed continues to grow, the seed coat will eventually shed and disintegrate in the soil.
Seed treatment is a good all-around investment, for your seed and your pocketbook.