Seed treating is a cost-effective operation that improves yield and protects against disease, pests, and insects. “Seed treatments work in two primary ways: by extinguishing invisible diseases and by providing protection during germination (Bayer)”.
After a wet season, the number of diseases in the soil are increased significantly due to the higher moisture levels. This makes seed treatment particularly important as they can control the spread of these diseases and protect the seed in the vital early stages of its germination.
Benefits of Seed Treatment
The main benefit of chemical seed treatment is to protect seeds from pests and diseases, leading to higher crop yields and germination. Treating your seeds can:
- Prevent spread of plant diseases: Seed treatment can protect and control the spread of various diseases in your seed, ultimately decreasing the amount of crop lost.
- Improve germination: Most seed treatments provide protection from insects and disease for several weeks, during the early stages of planting, allowing the seedling an increased amount of time to germinate.
- Provide protection from storage and soil insects: Insecticides are designed to kill or repel insects and provide protection to your seed while it’s being stored and for the first few vital weeks of germination.
Types of Seed Treatments
Chemical seed treatments include both fungicides, to protect seeds from fungal infections, and insecticides, to control pests that attack seeds and seedlings. The chemicals are typically applied as a seed coating in liquid or powder format.
Wheat and barley are recommended to be treated with Gaucho 600 and Vibrance or Evergol. Gaucho protects seeds, seedlings, and roots from the spread of several diseases, including Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV). The Vibrance fungicide controls smuts, bunts and a range of other diseases. Vibrance is also used to encourage healthier establishment and crop growth.
Oats are recommended to be treated with Hombre Ultra, which is a combination of the fungicide Raxil and insecticide Gaucho. This seed treatment controls a variety of smuts, protects against cereal aphids and controls stored grain pests. Hombre Ultra also reduces the spread of BYDV in your crop.
Canola is recommended to be treated with the chemical Saltro Duo. This is a combination of Maxim XL and Saltro and is effective in controlling blackleg, pythium and rhizoctonia. A combination of Maxim XL and Gaucho 600 is also effective in protecting canola seedlings from aphid damage and mites.
For a basic fungal protection, Raxil T can be used to treat barley, oats and wheat as it controls various smuts and bunts, and protects against several stored grain pests including granary weevil, lesser grain borer, rice weevil, rust-red flour beetle and sawtoothed grain beetle.
For more information on these seed treatments read our seed treatment guide here.
Treating your seed is a highly effective, cost-efficient way of protecting your crop from pests and diseases, encouraging germination and maximising crop yields. Many seed treatments can be combined, using both a fungicide and insecticide, to provide the highest protection to your seed.