Cereal producers are reminded that with nil (or very low) tolerance for bunt and smuts at receival centres and with diseased grain only saleable as low value stock feed, now is the time to take pre-emptive action. For many growers and for many years, Raxil® T seed treatment has been the mainstay, delivering cheap and effective prevention of these diseases.
So a highlight for the 2012 seed treatment season will undoubtedly be the release of Raxil PRO seed treatment.
Bayer has been researching the addition of its new generation fungicides to a traditional active ingredient (tebuconazole) in Raxil T.
When they added the new generation prothioconazole, they found that not only did the product provide excellent disease control, but crops appeared greener and more vigorous during early development, and seedlings treated with the combination were typically more advanced than untreated crops.
Early growth is important but most growers would argue grain yield and quality are the final determinants on any crop investment.
Bayer Seed Treatment Product Manager, James Catherall, said information released at recent Innovation Forums held across Australia clearly defined the economic benefits.
When yield results for barley seed treatment trials VD06, VA19 and WA19 were averaged, there was a net yield gain of 250 kg/ha for Raxil PRO over the untreated, compared with a 40 kg/ha for Raxil T.
Similarly, when yield results for wheat seed treatment trials VD02, VD03 and VD04 were averaged, Raxil PRO demonstrated a yield benefit of 650 kg/ha above the untreated. That was 400 kg/ha above the Dividend® treatment (applied at 130 mL/100 kg seed) and 530 kg/ha above Raxil T.
Mr. Catherall said Bayer had evaluated the economic benefit, or return on investment of using Raxil PRO. That assessment took into consideration both grain yield and quality.
Trial data over the past three years had shown Raxil PRO was a clear winner in both wheat and barley, substantially outperforming Dividend and Raxil T, where control of smut diseases was targeted.
He advised Raxil PRO is active on covered smut (bunt) and loose smut in wheat, barley and oats and flag smut (seed and soil borne) in wheat.
“Another key feature with this exciting new product is that just 15 mL will treat 100 kg of seed. Water should be added to Raxil PRO before application to help evenly spread the solution over the seed. Such a low dose rate minimises container transport and storage requirements, which of course is a lot better for the environment,” said Mr. Catherall.
As part of their insect resistance management strategy, many growers will want to alternate between insecticide chemical groups. To enable that flexibility, Bayer has decided not to include an insecticide in its new product.
Raxil PRO is physically compatible with K-Obiol® Combi, Jockey® Stayer®, Gaucho® 350, Fenitrothion 1000 and Twin Zinc. Growers are advised that once mixed they should apply the solution promptly and not store it overnight.
Mr. Catherall said, “Whilst seed treatments have proven extremely effective in controlling bunt and smuts, they need to be applied every year and good coverage of grain is essential to prevent infection.
Following a bunt/smut infection year, clean seed should be obtained. All machinery that handled the infected grain should be thoroughly cleaned and wheat should not be sown back into a paddock infected with flag smut for several years.
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To evaluate economic benefit and return on investment (ROI) of using Raxil PRO seed treatment, protection of both grain yield and quality should be considered. To demonstrate value to the grower for ROI calculations, trial data over the last three seasons has been used.
Bayer contact: James Catherall
Product Manager, Seed Treatment
Phone: (03) 9248-6818
Gaucho®, Jockey®, K-Obiol®, Stayer® and Raxil® are Registered Trademarks of Bayer.