Value of Wheat Seed Treatments

Value of Wheat Seed Treatments

July 31, 2009

Variety Trials

The results of this year's UNL Wheat Variety Trials are being posted to the Web as they become available. The site links to additional resources, including an on-line wheat varieties virtual tour and a variety selection tool.

In the next CropWatch, Extension Plant Pathologist Stephen Wegulo will discuss current wheat seed treatments in more detail.

New winter wheat seed treatments have proven very effective, increasing yield by one to two bushels an acre even when no disease is detected, said Bob Klein, Extension western Nebraska crops specialist.

Fungicide treatment is crucial in controlling or preventing disease in wheat and the small, consistent yield increase more than pays the cost.

Wheat diseases appear every year and Klein often sees damaged fields that could have been saved with treated seed. He recommends that producers select certified, treated wheat seed. Choose varieties that have performed well in local tests, he said.

"I just don't think you can afford to gamble and not use a seed treatment, especially with the quality of seed treatments we have today," Klein said.

Klein highly recommended that these treatments be professionally applied. Producers used to mix their own treatments, but without professional equipment, it was difficult to apply the fungicides evenly. As a result, producers seldom got a very good performance from these treatments.

Faith Colburn, Communications Specialist
West Central REC, North Platte