Make seed-borne fusarium top priority

CEREAL GROWERS using home-saved seed should make control of seed-borne fusarium a priority this autumn, said one major seed processor.

The problems with high levels of fusarium last year highlighted the importance of effectively treating grain destined for seed, said Frontier Agriculture’s eastern counties seed manager, Paul Brown.

“If it had not been treated effectively there would have been widespread poor establishment in situations that favour the disease, such as drilling after September on heavy land.”

Even if infected seed has high laboratory germination (95%), subsequent emergence and establishment is likely to be poor if seed has not been disinfected with an appropriate treatment, he said.

Growers should avoid ‘cheap and cheerful’ single purpose dressings and be more particular about their requirements, he noted.

Mr Brown recommends the use of Kinto (triticonazole + prochloraz) for wheat and barley seed, due to its activity against fusarium, ergot sclerotinia and soil borne bunt.

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