Seed treatment on rise
SEED treatment – whether as a coating or pellet – is set to become increasingly the primary source of crop protection chemicals, says Tony Hewitt, vegetable director of Elsoms Seeds.
"Modern seed technology is enabling a much wider range of insecticides and fungicides to be applied to more and more crops, reducing the need for field applications," says Mr Hewitt.
Elsoms Seeds 97 vegetable catalogue shows the company now offers treated seeds for more than 40 crops, some for the first time.
In recent years substantial investment has been made in new technology, most recently Polycota treatment machines. Polycote Force, for instance, is a film-coated treatment containing tefluthrin for controlling first generation carrot fly.
"With restrictions on the number of organophosphorous insecticide sprays that can be applied to carrot crops, this is the ideal alternative to OP granules or sprays," the new catalogue advises. "It is available at different rates of application, depending on the risk of attack. Force is also available as a parsnip seed treatment."
Among the new varieties in the catalogue are Kennedy long-day butterhead lettuce, Gonzales second early cabbage, Renton autumn/winter cabbage, Renate late maturing onion and Invicta winter cauliflower. *