Cereal seed treatment gets green light for spring sowing

Restrictions on a fungicide seed treatment have now been lifted, allowing the product to be used on spring sown wheat and barley, with immediate effect.

For the past year, Rancona i-MIX (imazalil + ipconazole) has been confined to autumn use only, preventing treated seed from being planted after 31 January.

Now, the Chemicals Regulation Division of the Health and Safety Executive has lifted the restriction, which means growers can use the dual-purpose fungicide throughout the year to combat a range of soil-borne diseases in both wheat and barley.

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In a statement, UPL UK & IE business development manager David Ramdhian said regaining spring use on Rancona i-MIX is a huge bonus for growers after inclement weather disrupted their winter drilling plans over recent months.

This disruption has resulted in the planned area of spring sown cereals increasing significantly to plug the gap and their success will hinge on good establishment, he added.

“With limited dual-purpose fungicide seed treatments available, we are delighted with this timely decision to allow spring use on wheat and barley seed this coming season.”

Disease control

Rancona i-MIX contains imazalil for leaf stripe control, and ipconazole, which offers effective control of Microdochium nivale, as well as loose smut.

The new label now also includes the suppression of ergot germination – a fungus becoming more problematic in seed.

Rob Adamson, UPL technical lead for seed treatments said ergot has become of increasing concern over recent years due to the prevalence of blackgrass, which can act as a host for the pathogen.

“By treating any particles in seed, we can reduce the spread of fungal spores,” he added.

In addition to disease control, the manufacturer also claims the product’s micro emulsion (ME) formulation results in 125 times more surface contact compared to a flowable formulation.

This results in superior active substance distribution on the seed, and improved contact with pathogens.

The ME formulation is also said to reduce dust levels, improving seed handling and creating a better operator working environment at the plant or during drilling.

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