SEED treatment specialist Bayer has launched a systemic fungicide and insecticide seed treatment for this autumn and announced a cut in the minimum seed-rate it will support with its Secur range of fungicides.
The new product is Baytan Secur (fuberidazole + triadimenol + imidacloprid), combining the disease and plant growth regulatory effects of fuberidazole and triadimenol treatment with the aphid control properties of imidacloprid.
Two years further experience with imidacloprid on cereals in Sibutol Secur (bitertanol + fuberidazole + imidacloprid) and Raxil Secur (imidacloprid + tebuconazole + triazoxide) has revealed other benefits, says seed product manager Alan Wainwright.
"We have seen a reduction in wireworm damage, a reduction in grain hollowing by slugs, and a reduction of damage by cereal flea beetle.
"The reduction in grain hollowing is proving extremely useful."
"With lower seed rates there is a greater need that every seed produces a plant," says technical support manager David Clark.
A review of imidacloprid at lower seed rates has prompted the firm to drop the minimum seed-rate it will back with Secur treatments from 125kg/ha (1.0 cwt/acre) to 100kg/ha (0.8 cwt/acre).
"But that is with the proviso it will need following up with a spray in late October or early November," says Mr Clark. However, he concedes that even at 100kg/ha, the rate is not as low as the market needs for very early drillings.
"No sooner do we get a product developed, than farmers change their agronomic practices."
With an insecticide seed dressing growers do not have to worry about LERAPs and they have an insurance in case wet weather prevents spraying, he adds.
Cost of Baytan Secur will be about £17/ha (£7/acre), at a seed rate of 125-130kg/ha. About £7/ha of that is the Secur cost, which contrasts with £3/ha for two pyrethroids plus about £7.50/ha (£3/acre) for one spray pass.
"We assume the later aphicide is applied with a herbicide."
, so dont include that application cost," says Mr Clark.
The result is that growers are about £3/ha (£1.20/acre) to the good with Secur treatments compared to two pyrethroid sprays, he concludes.
• Systemic fungicide/insecticide.
• Bitertanol + fuberidazole + imidacloprid.
• Cuts wireworm and slug damage.
• Minimum 100kg/ha seed rate.