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Mode Of Action

Biological Seed Treatment

Mode of Action

Systemic Acquired Resistance

“White mold usually comes in July or August, so it was hard to imagine Heads Up, a seed treatment would be effective.  It turned out to have a significant effect, due to resistance priming.”

– Dr. Michael Harding, Plant Pathologist, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

Heads Up utilizes a unique Mode of Action (M.O.A), called Systemic Acquired Resistance, or S.A.R. When applied as a seed treatment, our product activates the plant’s own genetic resistance to diseases by stimulating the plant’s natural defense pathways before disease sets in.

Heads Up is an EPA-registered, full-season, biological seed treatment offering protection against white mold and sudden death syndrome, as well as other yield robbing fungal and bacterial diseases.



Heads Up contains no living organisms, and is compatible with many inoculants, fungicides, and insecticide seed treatments.

Heads Up can be easily and safely mixed with other fungicides/insecticides or liquid inoculants, or used on its own for seedling and soil borne disease prevention. As a biological, systemic seed treatment, it works season-round and with a plant’s given capabilities, saving you money on late-season maintenance and additional fungicide applications.

15+ years of research has shown Heads Up is very effective when mixed with other fungicide/insecticide seed treatments and can offer extra insurance with its separate, novel mode of action.

Check with your local dealer/distributor if self-treating and unsure, or see more information on mixing.



  • Safe to user
  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with other Fungicides/Insecticides
  • Broad spectrum fungal and bacterial disease control
  • Systemic, Full Season Protection
  • No Restrictions Between Treatment and Use
  • Long Shelf Life
  • Economically Priced
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • EPA Reg. 81853-1, PMRA Reg. # 29827 Pest Control Products Act
  • OMRI listed for organic use

See our Heads Up brochure

heads up plant protectant

Details of S.A.R.

All plants have innate resistance and the ability to defend themselves against fungal and bacterial disease.

Extensive breeding in soybeans has led to the ability for many seed companies to be able to rank their seed varieties from moderately susceptible to moderately resistant against different disease pathogens. These rankings are based on field tolerances exhibited as a result of genetic selections/crossing.

1) When a plant is attacked by a fungal disease pathogen (for example: ascospores, which infect soybeans at R3), the plant, realizing it is under attack, stimulates defensive “warning signals” which translocate throughout the plant and stimulate innate defense. This signalling event activates the key defense pathways, i.e. jasmonic and salicylic acid, leading to the accumulation of Salicylic Acid (helps to stop localized infection), and enables P.R. (pathogenesis related) proteins.

2) While the defensive signalling at infection will help to slow down the spread of infection and in turn prevent future yield loss, total yield loss depends on factors associated to the disease triangle below:

Disease Triangle

Yield loss will be greater for some diseases (like Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) if you have an extremely wet, cloud covered environment, with a high load factor of sclerotia in the soil and a susceptible soybean cultivar.

3) Heads Up, while not active on the disease itself, stimulates the defensive abilities of the plant early, upon germination. In turn, by early activation of key defensive pathways, which happens prior to the infection, the plant is better able to utilize its genetic resistance by “priming” or establishing itself in a ready state before disease sets in.

4) This unique mode of action (S.A.R.) has shown a significant effect in reducing yield loss by early disease resistance priming. Systemic acquired resistance, while not active on any particular disease itself, has proven to be a broad spectrum systemic and provides a full season response.

5) For a complete strategy, always pair Heads Up Seed Treatment with a variety selected to best suit your unique growing environment. Heads Up is compatible with other fungicide/insecticide seed treatments or inoculants and can be used in seed treatment blends for multiple modes of action. The product can also be used alone and is OMRI certified for organic use.

Key notes:

-Whether using Heads Up alone or in combination with other seed treatments, always ensure that total liquid applied to the seed at time of treating is between 5-8 oz/cwt.

-Apply Heads Up before or at the same time as applying other treatments.

-Heads Up does not contain any living organisms and has a stable shelf life. When applied by itself, Heads Up can be applied to the seed without any time restrictions to planting.

-Heads Up has been shown to elicit a priming effect in soybeans and other crops due to S.A.R.

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