CEREAL growers on sites at risk from manganese deficiency are being urged not to drop preventative seed treatments in their drive to cut production costs.
"Current orders suggest a downturn in use this autumn," says Chris Merry marketing director for nutrition company Phosyn. "But manganese deficiency has become a very widespread and serious problem and growers would be very unwise to run the risk of being unable to apply a foliar treatment if autumn conditions become difficult."
"We produce both foliar and seed treatment products, so we have no bias either way. But with its guaranteed supply of manganese, seed treatment should be an attractive investment."
At about £7.50/ha (£3/acre) it compares favourably with a foliar spray, particularly if the spray needs to go on separately due to tank-mixing incompatibility, says Mr Merry.