A few smart choices now will help you protect the yield potential of your canola, pulse and cereal crop before the seed is even in the ground.
Poor planning can mean your crop leaves the starting gate on the wrong foot. You can’t recover the yield potential lost from a poor launch in those critical first weeks after seeding. It’s never too early to start working with your P&H crop advisor to develop effective crop rotations and adequate fertility plans for the coming spring. Choosing varieties with the best genetic potential for you operation is also crucial. And part of the planning and variety selection process should include choosing a seed treatment.
Certified canola seed typically comes pre-treated. A combination of active ingredients protect canola seed and seedlings from seedling disease, flea beetles and cutworms. The most common seedling disease-causing fungi in canola include Rhizoctonia solani and various species from the fusarium and pythium families.
Consider the potential threat of flea beetles as you choose your seed treatment. Assess flea beetle pressure in the fall by counting the number of adult flea beetles in canola fields at harvest. Heavy populations indicate a higher risk next spring. However, adult flea beetles must survive the winter to become a threat to next year’s canola crop.
A mild winter and snow cover can increase flea beetle survival rates. Following seeding, higher temperatures and reduced soil moisture slows the growth of canola seedlings and elevates the risk of damage due to flea beetles. In environmental conditions like this, a seed treatment can reduce the risk of early season flea beetle damage which would ultimately impact canola yields.
Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, Pythium, Botrytis, Ascochyta and Anthracnose are common pathogens that can threaten peas and lentils. These pathogens infect cereal and pulse seed, causing reduced plant stand and decreased seedling vigor. Using a seed treatment is the best defense against yield loss due to seedling disease and blights, and uneven crop establishment.
Certain insects such as pea leaf weevils in peas and wireworms in lentils can also reduce pulse plant stands and reduce seedling vigor. Using a seed treatment with an insecticide at seeding is the only method of effectively controlling pea leaf weevils and wireworms.
Cereal seed treatments can protect against pathogens such as Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Fusarium and Cochliobolus sativus — which can be found in the soil, crop residue or seed. A cereal seed treatment can also protect against insect pests such as wireworms and aphids. The active ingredients protect plants for three to four weeks, the critical time early in the season when yield potential is locked in.
Download seed treatment charts below. Please note that these are not complete lists and are for reference only.