A new seed treatment designed to help growers facing difficult or late drilling will be available for the first time this autumn to use on cereal and oilseed rape seed.
It increases the level of auxin in the growing plant, enhancing root development and crop establishment.
Using it gave a 28-40% increase in root mass in wheat and barley respectively at early stages of tillering (GS22-23), according to independent trials.
Across 54 cereal trials in the UK, mainly on wheat, Radiate gave an average yield increase of 0.5t/ha. However, in optimally managed crops, returns were closer to 0.8t/ha.
Kim Christo, commercial director at De Sangosse, says Radiate increases the plant’s ability to capture and utilise sunlight, which fuels and encourages growth.
It can give more vigorous early growth and reduce stress, especially in drought prone soils and can eliminate the problem of “hot spots” appearing in fields later in the season, around May or June, he claims.
A larger root system increases both root mass and rooting depth and improves the ability of plants to access water and nutrients in the soil, which increases yields of quality grain, explains Mr Christo.
“If you get a better root system, you are going to be able to better utilise your N, P and K,” he added.
Frank Littlehales, managing director at ReSo Seeds, says his clients have tested Radiate in oilseed rape this year, and the results were positive.
“Test digs on one farm last spring, where growing conditions were ideal, showed an increased root length from 6cm on controls to 11cm when treated with Radiate,” he said.
“This boost in early vigour would be a real help in a crop that needs strong early establishment to produce the highest yields.”
Radiate will fit in well alongside existing fungicidal/insecticidal seed treatments to improve growth, he adds.
“On cereals, where growers are increasingly spending more on seed treatment technology, such as Redigo Deter or Latitude, the extra £2.50/acre – depending on seed rate – for the benefits reported for Radiate appear just as cost-effective.”
In separate assessments by independent trials organisation NDSM, Radiate produced a 40% increase in dry root weight in wheat variety Oakley as a second wheat compared with controls at the 2-3 tiller stage.
Radiate is recommended at 2litres/t on cereal seed and is suitable for all winter and spring sown wheat, barley and oilseed rape varieties. It costs £40/t, or £6/150kg.
It is compatible for simultaneous co-application with a wide range of commonly used seed treatments, and had no effect on germination or seed vigour when used alone or in combination in tests at NIAB TAG.
Yield data from the NDSM winter barley Radiate trial
Winter Barley seed treatment trial – Headley Hall
Harvested 2 August 2010
SPD + Radiate