With farmers beginning to get antsy to get in the field there is always the question about what seed treatment is going to work best. This is a good question to be asking, especially with the sudden large rainfalls being seen across parts of the prairies. Cool, wet conditions are when you are going to see seed treatments getting the most bang for your buck. Atleast soils should be heating up now.
I cannot stress enough how before even thinking about seed treatment you purchase clean, certified seed where possible. Putting low quality seed in the ground cant be saved by any amount or any kind of seed treatment. Ensure you get your seed tested so you are aware of the levels of specific diseases with the seed, this can be a starting point for your fungicide choice. Remember disease can be in the soil as well, so from being out and actively digging up your plants every year and inspecting the roots you can have an idea of what species of disease are present (distinguishing can be tough, ask an agronomist or do some research online). Even ask your local agronomist or sales reps what disease species tend to be high in your soils. I am not going to touch on insecticidal seed treatments here, but remember that there are options for insecticides with seed treatments as well.
There are a number of seed treatments out there, some with similar active ingredients. I am mainly going to focus on the actives and then give some examples of what seed treatments you can find them in.
Metalaxyl (gr. 4) is a systemic active that tends to be very effective on Pythium species (soil borne disease) of diseases. If you have heard of neighbours or local specialists talk about Pythium in your area, then products with this active may be some to consider. Secondly, metalaxyl is effective on Botrytis. Products that contain this active include Trilex AL, Apronn Maxx, Raxil MD and Dividend XL RTA.
Next up I will touch on the active known as Thiram (group M). Thiram’s claim to fame is its activity on smut type of diseases. Anyone that uses a lot of bin ran barley may want to consider a product with this active (however, there are other actives with good activity on smuts as well). Products with Thiram in them include Raxil T, Gemini, and Vitaflo.
Fusarium is a disease species that tends to cause some losses every year, especially in wet soils. For control of this disease there are a number of options in seed treatments since the triazole family of fungicides (gr 3) is so prevalent in western Canadian seed treatments. Youll notice that foliar fungicides for Fusarium Head Blight in cereals tend to be triazole fungicides as well. Here is a list of seed treatments with triazole family fungicides and good activity on fusarium; Raxil MD and Raxil T (tebuconazole), Gemini (Triticonazole), Dividend (Difenoconazole) and Rancona Apex (ipconazole). There are some other ones out there as well to I believe.
As of right now seed treatments that are exceptional on Rhizoctonia are difficult to find. There are products out there with activity on it including Trilex AL and Apronn Maxx (probably others, but not sure off the top of my head). Next year is going to be exciting for seed treatments when it comes to rhizoctonia products. Syngenta has a new product being released up here known as Sedaxane which has very good effectiveness on the disease. On top of this, Bayers new canola seed treatment called EverGol (all Invigor seed will come pre treated with it) with the active Penflufen (gr 7). Penflufen has great activity on rhizoctonia as well.
The tendency with these diseases is that they are all present in every soil, it is determining the one that tends to be more of a concern to you when choosing a seed treatment. Using products with more than one active ingredient is an effective strategy to help with this.
Distinguishing these diseases can be difficult, potential for another blog on them alone.
If any of this info seems to be wrong on anything I write please let me know, I have zero desire to be spreading incorrect information.