A new cereal seed treatment, combining equal amounts of fludioxynil and systemic flutriafol, has been launched by Syngenta.

Beret Multi, which is said to have excellent crop safety, is approved for wheat, oats and barley. But its main use is likely to be on barley because of its activity against the crop’s three key seed-borne diseases, namely loose smut, leaf stripe and fusarium, predicted the firm’s Garth Bretherton.

“With seed a significant portion of the growing costs of a crop, farmers are becoming increasingly sparing by targeting seed rates precisely to drilling date, variety and soil condition.”

That left little room for error in avoiding crop losses from having too few plants, he pointed out.

“Therefore it’s vital that a seed treatment not only gives excellent disease protection during establishment but also doesn’t hold the crop back.”

Beret Multi’s control of loose smut and leaf stripe had often exceeded the 98% level required for seed certification, he noted.

In wheat it had given excellent control of Microdochium nivale and bunt with no significant reduction in plant stand.

“That compared with several triazole seed treatments where significantly fewer plants were noted than in untreated plots.”

Application rate for the new product, which comes in the new Formula M technology to improve flow through drills and chemical retention and to reduce dust, is 2litres/t.

Its price is “competitive with other single purpose seed treatments”.