Use this time-saving trick to improve poor-quality cereal seed

Written by Janel Delage on Dec 19 2016

Category: Grow Grain

Your lab tests are in and you’re unhappy with the quality of your cereal seed. Use this strategy to find a seed treatment option that will get disease down to an acceptable level.

I was recently talking with a grower who was unhappy with the results of her cereal seed lab test, but she was able to use a time-saving trick to reduce disease levels to something she was a comfortable planting. If you’re in a similar position, read her story and see if this solution can work for you.

Poor quality seed? Try this.

When the grower received her test results, she was horrified to see that it was poorer quality than she would typically produce or plant. With widespread disease issues across the Prairies, she didn’t know if she’d be able to purchase better-quality seed. Every year, her farm buys enough new certified seed to cover a portion of their acres. This ensures that all of the cereal seed they use is a maximum of one generation past certified, allowing them to retain the beneficial traits of the varieties they grow. 

As she was researching her options, she saw on the seed lab’s website that they could apply treatments, test the seed again and send her the results. She had sent in a fairly big sample, so she asked the lab to treat the remaining seed with some different products and then analyze it. 

When the results came back, the grower saw that Crusier® Vibrance® Quattro had reduced the fusarium spore counts to a level that she felt good about planting. The sample that originally came in at 93% Germ, 87% Vigour, 3% Fus Gram and 17.5% Fus spp improved to 97% Germ, 96% Vigour, 0% Fus Gram and 3.5% Fus spp.

Your seed treatment product options

Because this grower was dealing with high fusarium levels, Vibrance Quattro was the best fit for her farm. Raxil® PRO and Insure™ Cereal are also good options. 

Whichever product you’re considering, it’s important to remember that seed-borne fusarium has a negative impact on seed germination and vigour. While it won’t prevent fusarium head blight later on, a seed treatment will give you quick emergence and a healthy plant stand to start the year. 

Where wireworm is expected, Crusier® Vibrance® Quattro or Raxil® PRO Shield should be used.  They both contain an insecticide that suppresses wireworm.

It’s hard to evaluate the performance of a seed treatment in the field, so let a lab do the work. That way, you can start the year in the position you want. Seed treatments are a good idea, and in a year like this one, the benefits are even greater. 

If you want some help analyzing your lab test results and making a plan for spring seeding, contact your Cargill rep. We can share different strategies to help you get your cereal crop off to the best start. 

Always read and follow label directions. CRUISER® and VIBRANCE® are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Raxil® is a trademark of the Bayer Group. INSURE™ is a trademark of BASF SE.

Tags: Seed quality, cereal, seed treatment

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