Winter cereal seed treatments...

With Steve Muller


In today's grain industry, the margin between making a dollar and not being able to cover expenses is getting tighter and tighter. We are forever trying to procure that little bit extra yield which is essentially pure profit once all expenses have been covered. This is where a good seed treatment can make a significant difference.

There are a wide range of seed treatments on the market today and knowing which one is best for your situation can be hard to determine. When talking about winter cereals a lot of products overlap to a certain extent and can be used on both wheat and barley, but cover different pathogens and diseases.

These products can be broken into 4 categories; 

  • The first category is the cheapest and consists of products that control smut and bunts only. They are widely used but offer no protection against other soil borne diseases. This group consists of products such as Veteran C, which a lot of people are familiar with.
  • The second category consists of products that control the smut and bunts as well as offering control or suppression of soil borne diseases such as pythium. Vibrance is one of the most commonly used products from this group and offers suppression/control on a wide range of soil borne diseases.
  • The third category offers control/suppression on all of the above smut/bunts and soil borne pathogens, as well as offering some level of foliar disease control. Systiva from BASF, is one such product which offers good control of foliar diseases such as leaf rust, barley mildew, net blotch, septoria and barley scald, as well as offering control on the above-mentioned pathogens.
  • Finally the fourth category consists of insecticide products which help to control soil insects as well as aphids. Many people would be familiar with the discontinued product, Emerge, which worked well in reducing aphid populations in both barley and wheat crops long into the season. This product has now been superseded by the new Cruiser 350 FS, which by all reports also offers great control. These products are often applied in combination with one of the fungicides mentioned above.

When applying a seed treatment, it is important to ensure that adequate coverage of each seed is obtained to get the most out of the treatment applied. Whether it’s a fungicide, insecticide or inoculant, if it’s not applied to the seed coat it can’t do its job. With this in mind, Dalby Rural Supplies has invested in a state of the art USC seed treatment machine to help growers with their seed coating needs. This machine will be available to use on wheat, barley and chickpeas this coming winter. 

If you are interested in learning more about seed treatments & inoculants and seeing the seed treatment machine in action, we are holding a Seed Treatment Plant Launch on Friday 13th April at 3pm in the back shed at Dalby Rural Supplies. We will have speakers from Syngenta discussing their seed treatment range and the importance of seed treatments and Daniel Zinga from Nu-Edge Solutions discussing microbials and inoculants, which will make it a very informative afternoon. If you are interested in attending please RSVP to the office by the 9th of April for catering purposes. 

If you have any questions about seed treatments and which treatment would be best for you, please contact one of our helpful agronomists on (07) 4660 0400 or email me at;