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Protect Your Investment

Seed Treatments, In-furrow Regimes Safeguard Seedlings


By Carroll Smith
Senior Writer

Today’s cotton seed trait technology is sophisticated, adds value for the producer and is pretty pricey as an up-front input expense. Protecting that investment and being rewarded with a good, healthy stand of cotton is priceless. Although farmers have more seedling protection options available now than ever before, they must choose the program that best fits their needs.

For a long time, Melvin Newman, University of Tennessee plant pathologist, says he recommended in-furrow fungicides as the “Cadillac” treatment. However, in the past two or three years as some of the newer seed treatments have come out, Newman says that in many cases they work as well as the in-furrow treatments.

“However, I would be quick to say that there are still cases where an in-furrow fungicide is warranted,” he adds. “For example, in Tennessee, we plant cotton in some of the bottoms where the soil is cooler and wetter, so we need more fungicide there.”

New Seed Treatments

The two new seed treatments that tout combined products are AVICTA Complete Cotton and AERIS Seed-Applied System. According to Syngenta, AVICTA Complete Cotton is a combination of three separately-registered products: AVICTA, a novel seed treatment nematicide; Cruiser seed treatment insecticide; and Dynasty CST seed-delivered fungicide. The AERIS Seed-Applied System, according to Bayer CropScience, also has three components – a nematicide, insecticide and an optional fungicide package. One fungicide option is Trilex Advanced, which actually combines three fungicides.

“Where you are using seed treatments for multiple purposes – and mainly for nematode control – you may need an extra treatment at pinhead square,” Newman says. “In Tennessee, we’ve found value in coming back at pinhead with Temik sidedress or a Vydate spray that goes to the root system to help control nematodes.”

Cold Snaps And Thrips

In Louisiana, plant pathologist Boyd Padgett says from the seedling disease standpoint, Dynasty CST and Trilex Advanced are very good products.

“They work better than I thought they would,” says Padgett, who admits he was skeptical about the seed treatments prior to working with them. “Where the seed treatments fit best in Louisiana is when farmers begin planting, and everything is looking good, then we get a cold snap, which drops the soil temperature for a few days. The new seed treatments will carry you through that short period.”

In the insect arena, Louisiana entomologist Gene Burris shares what he has observed in working with the new seed treatments.

“Two years ago, Syngenta increased the active ingredient (ai) in Cruiser and offered it to the farmer in the form of the AVICTA Complete Pak (now renamed AVICTA Complete Cotton),” Burris says. “A nematicide is also part of the seed treatment package. There seemed to be some sort of an effect in combining those two products that gave us superior thrips control compared to anything else we were looking at from a seed treatment standpoint.

“The control really comes close to our standard in-furrow four-pound Temik treatment,” he says. “The other new seed treatment, AERIS, appears to be comparable to the AVICTA Complete Cotton as far as we can tell.”

However, the Louisiana entomologist does caution producers about the use of seed treatments where extremely high nematode populations exist.

“In these conditions or on real light sandy soils, you may want to consider using a fumigant such as Telone or K-Pam,” Burris says. “But remember, a fumigant will still need an insecticide, whether it’s in the form of a seed treatment or Temik.”

Contact Carroll Smith at (901) 767-4020 or csmith@onegrower.com.


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