- Seed treatment technology is designed to do one thing - reduce the risk of losing a pasture or crop at establishment.
- Agriseeds markets three AGRICOTE seed treatments for grass, clover, and brassica.
Importance of seed treatment
By protecting newly-emerged seedlings from pests and disease, seed treatment acts as an insurance policy against paddock failure. Such losses can be $2000/ha or more.
Summary of available treatments
What is seed treatment?
Seed treatment is the process of coating individual grass, clover or brassica seeds with a mix of chemicals (and sometimes nutrients) to protect and enhance establishment.
How does it work?
These coatings contain enough insecticide and fungicide to last for approximately six weeks post-sowing, the time that young plants are most vulnerable to insect attack and disease. The active ingredients are systemic, so as well as protecting the seed itself, they ‘grow’ through the plant tissue of the seedling as it emerges from the ground.
Use seed treatment in a programme
While seed treatment is proven technology, it is not a silver bullet. Seed treatment gives good control of low to moderate insect pressure. In situations where insect populations are likely to be high, a wider control programme is needed.
In grass-to-grass (or cereal to grass) pasture renewal through spray-drilling, Argentine stem weevil (ASW) can be present in very high numbers.
Generally, we recommend adding an insecticide (e.g. Lorsban) to Roundup when spraying out the paddock to reduce the ASW population. Then use AGRICOTE Grass seed treatment to protect establishing seedlings from the surviving, and newly hatching, ASW population.
Insects such as springtails can be present in huge numbers, many 1000’s per m². While the seed treatment will kill the springtails nipping seedlings, by the time many springtails have nipped one each the crop is seriously damaged.
We recommend monitoring newly sown brassica crops daily for the first 14 days, and using an appropriate insecticide if high numbers of insects are seen.
Slugs in direct-drilling
Seed treatments provide no protection for slugs, which can be a major problem in new pastures, particularly where they are direct-drilled or spray-drilled. Monitor paddock for slugs, and bait as necessary.