Wheat School: Seed treatments for soil-borne diseases


For many areas of Western Canada, the soil is still quite cool, or only just beginning to warm up.

However, just because there’s not a lot of biological activity going on in the soil, doesn’t mean the risk for soil-borne disease goes away.

As Shad Milligan of Syngenta explains in our latest Wheat School episode, your best line of defence in order to get crop established is a seed treatment.

“Whether it’s cold or warm, different species of disease start to come out in certain conditions, a die can’t predict what the spring is going to look like,” he explains.

When considering seed treatments to protect from any disease that could be in your soil, you’re going to want to consider weather conditions, but we know that the soil is eventually going to warm up โ€” which brings on a different set of disease concerns.

“That fungus is looking for a food source. You’re putting that seed into the ground, and you now have protection around that,” says Milligan. “Pythium really likes cold, wet, soil. We have some cold, wet soils, and that’s what we’re putting it into. But as we gradually move onwards, that soil is going to warm up and dry a bit. Then we’re going to see a different environment for disease to move into… things like rhizoctonia.

“At the end of the day, you have a lot of different factors going into trying to stop that seed from growing, and putting on that seed treatment allows you as grower to have that confidence that you’ll get that seed coming out of the ground and get that crop established to move forward into the rest of the season.”

Check out the full Wheat School episode on seed treatments, below:

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Wheat School (view all)Season 14 (2023) Episode 22

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