Wheat School: To Treat or Not to Treat, Is It a Question?

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For some growers, treating wheat seed is a no-brainer, while others still choose to forego a treatment and the input cost that comes with it.

So how do you decide?

With seeding ramping up for another spring, Pam de Rocquigny, cereal crop specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, joins us in the field to discuss seed treatments in this Wheat School episode.

“Producers need to ask themselves a few questions about what their risks are in terms of impacting their stands,” she says.

First, start with what levels of disease are present on your seed. Then look to the field — have there been issues with seed rot or seedling blight in the field before?

Crop rotation should also be considered, as tight cereal rotations will build up inoculum levels.

If wireworms are a problem, a treatment containing an insecticide might also make sense, although “wireworms are often patchy throughout a field, so treating a whole field may not be warranted either.”

And finally, think about the seedbed and weather conditions.

“If you’re seeding into cooler conditions, that’s where you’d want a seed treatment to protect that seed, where you know it’s going to take longer to get out of the ground,” she says. Even if soil temperatures are warm, “if you’ve identified other risks in terms of rotation, disease problems from previous years or seed quality, those things still come into play.”

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