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Diversifying seed protection to help extend it

A lot of growers are pretty set in their ways when it comes to seed treatments. Depending on the grower and the crop, that could mean relying on the same product year after year or just not using any seed treatment at all. But they really should be taking it one season at a time and weighing up the risk factors each fresh set of conditions presents.

In 2021, the team at BASF believe that a more pro-active approach should logically result in many more wheat growers turning to Systiva® for protection against Septoria tritici blotch (STB).

“Every year, we see shifts in the prevalence of various diseases and their sensitivity to different modes of action in specific areas,” says Shannon Altomare, BASF’s Portfolio Manager for seed treatments. “It’s all well documented, so that’s important information for agronomists to assess and pass on to their growers.

“When it comes to using Systiva in wheat, there are two sides to the story you can share with your customers. Over the last few seasons, Septoria tritici blotch has been getting both more widespread and more severe in higher rainfall areas. So growers who haven’t traditionally bothered with a seed dressing for wheat need to reconsider the potential damage they’re risking – especially in a year when some areas are getting more rainfall.

“The second consideration is that most growers who do use seed dressings have been depending on triazoles. Jockey* Stayer* has done a great job over the years, but now there are a lot of resistant strains of disease around and switching to Systiva will help take the pressure off the older chemistry with no loss of efficacy. That will protect the crop against STB, rhizoctonia and smut; promote vigorous establishment; and help extend the useful life of older products.

“So Systiva is now a great option to help growers sow both wheat and barley with extra confidence.”

In ILeVO®, BASF has a powerful and innovative seed treatment for canola crops as well. One that Shannon says raises the bar for disease control compared to older chemistry even where there are no resistance issues.

“If you take a close look at the evidence, or even better if you give it a try, we think you and your customers will agree that ILeVO® is a very cost-effective option to protect seedling canola against blackleg,” she explains. “Trials have shown that it is more effective than Jockey Stayer, with proven yield benefits, and it’s on a par with other newer chemistry without locking you into such a high outlay. There’s no compulsion to buy ILeVO with a second treatment, which keeps the minimum cost down if blackleg is the only disease threat. If there is pressure from multiple pathogens, growers can use a combination of products specifically tailored to deal with them.

“Extensive trials have confirmed that ILeVO has no negative impact on germination rates or hypocotyl length. It will help boost yield, not limit it. So any way you look at it, ILeVO is great value for money.”

The other two products in the current BASF seed treatment range are very well-known within the industry: Cosmos® and Poncho Plus®. “There’s a good mix of treatments growers have known and trusted for years, plus more innovative solutions,” Shannon says. “It’s great that our retail partners can support the development of new chemistry simply by recommending products you know your customers will be happy with.”