Monday, June 24, 2019

Trials highlight importance of consistent emergence

June 3, 2019 by  
Filed under Crops

Sugar beet trials undertaken in Norfolk this spring have shown a clear advantage from the new Syngenta Vibrance SB seed treatment.

Drilled in mid-April into dry soils and cool conditions, Vibrance SB emergence after three weeks was 55% ahead of untreated. Even on a site with no historic evidence of soil pathogen issues, the result was highly positive, says Syngenta technical manager Georgina Wood.

“Norfolk coastal marl soils, near Weybourne, have immense potential for beet, but are notoriously slow to warm up and get the crop growing. The faster emergence with Vibrance SB has helped get the crop off to the best start, which could help it right through the season.”

Planted at 1.33 units per hectare on a 45cm row spacing, emergence with the Vibrance SB treatment was an equivalent to 66,700 plants per hectare, compared to 43,088 with untreated seed. Emergence was expected to continue across the field as soils warmed up.

“With the impending loss of thiram seed treatment, growers are keen to evaluate other options that can ensure more consistent emergence and stronger establishment,” says Ms Wood.

Challenging conditions

Lincolnshire grower and contractor Richard Ivatt field-trialled the new seed treatment during hot, dry conditions last season. Despite the late sowing in cold, wet seedbed conditions, it delivered a 17t/ha yield increase over the farm-standard thiram treatment.

“It was all growing beautifully, and then the drought hit,” says Mr Ivatt.

“It was really clear that the thiram started to go off first, with leaves wilting and then laid out flat, while the Vibrance SB rows were still standing. They appeared to stay upright, and presumably more active, for weeks longer.”

An initial assessment of the young plants showed significantly longer tap root growth on the Vibrance SB treated plants, which was believed to be helping plants scavenge for moisture and nutrients deeper and more efficiently.

Taken through to final yield at the end of January, with each of the 700m2 plot areas measured across the farm’s weighbridge as the field was lifted, Richard reported the Vibrance SB treated Sabatina area achieve average yield of 57.6t/ha, compared to 40.84t/ha with the standard thiram.

Faster root system

Vibrance SB has been shown to develop a faster root system for rapid and strong spring establishment. Syngenta says it effectively controls complex rhizoctonia, pythium and phoma seedling diseases.

It combines a three-way mix of the powerful new SDHI fungicide sedaxane, with the proven seed treatments fludioxinil and metalaxyl-m. Research has shown the seed treatment provides an effective zone of protection from these soil borne infections around the seedling, even with repeated rainfall or irrigation events, says Ms Wood.

“Vibrance SB provides better control of key diseases responsible for damping-off in adverse conditions. Better control of these diseases would achieve more consistent plant stands and, therefore, higher yields of consistently even root size at harvest.”

Growers are still advised to maintain use of hymexazol for control of Aphanomyces.

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