Fungicide seed treatments are an important part of wheat production in Kansas. Seed treatments can effectively manage seed-borne disease, such as common bunt, flag smut, and loose smut; generally improve stand establishment; suppress the development of root rot diseases; and inhibit the development of foliar diseases in the fall. Products containing insecticides also can reduce fall aphid populations.
Producers and others can get the latest information on seed treatments in the newly revised version of Seed Treatment Fungicides for Wheat Disease Management 2015, K-State Research and Extension publication MF2955 at: http://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF2955.pdf
Priorities for use of wheat seed treatment fungicides include:
1. Seed lots from fields known to have low levels of loose smut, flag smut, or common bunt.
2. Wheat intended for seed production in following years.
3. Seed lots that have low germination caused by seed-borne Fusarium or other fungi.
4. When adverse weather delays planting and necessitates planting wheat into cool/wet soils.
The newly revised version of this publication now includes information on the efficacy of various seed treatments on flag smut. Flag smut was found this year in parts of central and western Kansas for the first time since the 1930’s. Flag smut is a concern because some countries have import restrictions on grain produced in areas where flag smut is known to occur.
Seed treatments are the most effective way to manage flag smut. For more information on this disease, see the new K-State Research and Extension publication Wheat Flag Smut, MF3235, at: http://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF3235.pdf
Erick De Wolf, Extension Plant Pathology