The 2020 wheat harvest is now completed, and it was a very successful harvest for most of Sumner and Harper county farmers. Overall, this year’s harvest provided some of the best yields many growers had seen in a long time. With yields in mind, there are a few things to think about when preparing for the wheat planting season that is nearing.
The importance of using clean, certified, treated seed cannot be overemphasized. Such seed optimizes the chances of obtaining high yields. Continual use of farmer-saved or bin-run seed wheat is likely to result in poor variety purity, a low germination percentage, and poor stand establishment. Additional problems that can result are disease, insect, and weed infestations. These factors all combine to result in reduced yield and poor grain quality.
One of the main disease issues that arise with the continued reuse of seed wheat, as well as some new seed wheat, is fungal disease. Three strategies can be used in combination to manage seed-transmitted fungal diseases of wheat: fungicide seed treatments, planting clean seed, and planting resistant varieties. While it is clear, for several obvious reasons, why we clean seed wheat, often seed treatments are overlooked at cleaning time. Seed treatments are the first line of defense for new plants and are vitally important for several reasons.
- Seed treatments control seed-transmitted fungal pathogens that may be surface-borne on the seed or internally seed-borne. Additionally, they control soil-borne pathogens such as Bipolaris, Fusarium, Pythium, and Rhizoctonia that cause seedling damping off, root rot, and crown rot. Systemic seed treatments also provide additional protection against fall foliar fungal diseases.
- In addition to controlling diseases, fungicide-insecticide combination seed treatments also control insect pests such as wireworms, Hessian fly, and fall aphids which attack seedlings in the early stages of growth.
- By controlling seedling damping off, seed treatments improve stand establishment and result in healthy, vigorous seedlings. Such seedlings build natural defenses that provide additional protection from diseases and insect pests.
Progressive Ag Coop offers two types of seed treatment this year:
- Dyna-Shield Foothold
Foothold contains two active ingredients which are Tebuconazole and Metalaxyl. These control smut, seed rots, Septoria disease, damping-off, root rot, scab, foot rot and early season suppression of powdery mildew and rust. The use rate is at 3.9 ounces per bushel.
- Dyna-Shield Foothold Virock
Foothold Virock is a four-active-ingredient seed treatment. In addition to the Tebuconazole and Metalaxyl that Foothold contains, Foothold Virock adds imidacloprid and fludioxonil, at a use rate of 3.0 ounces per bushel. The addition of these active ingredients adds insect control for early season protection against aphids, wire worms and hessian fly in addition to further fungal control.
Your Progressive Ag Coop agronomy team is ready to help answer any questions you may have on seed treatments including benefits and pricing. We are committed to being your trusted partner in all of your farming endeavors. Together, we can make the 2021 wheat harvest as good, if not better than this year!