Starting your season with a strong crop management plan is the best way to protect your investment. It’s important to know and understand the disease and insect issues you’ll face in your fields. These pests can attack wheat seedlings early, long before you know what’s lurking below the soil. Damage from pests can lead to late emergence, poor establishment and weak seedling vigor.
For the 2018 spring wheat season, growers should look out for the following pests:
- Pythium – One of the most prevalent disease pathogens attacking cereal crops, Pythium can cause delayed emergence, damping off, stunted growth, and thin plant stands. Research from Washington State University indicates that wheat seeds left unprotected are likely to become infected by Pythium within the first 24 to 48 hours after planting in moist soils.
- Fusarium – Fusarium attacks the outside of the seed and the seed embryo. If infected with Fusarium, the seed may die, germinate poorly or encounter seedling blight as it germinates.
- Rhizoctonia – Rhizoctonia lives as a fungus in soil, infecting seeds and young seedlings after water absorption. Capable of causing 20 to 40% yield loss, Rhizoctonia can cause germination failure, stunted crops, and reduced nutrient absorption and vigor.
- Aphids – Some species of aphids, including greenbugs, transmit barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV), which can cause underdeveloped root structure, delayed maturity, nutritional disorders, and reduced grain quality and yield. Fall infections of BYDV are worse than the spring infections, but it can be difficult to tell when infection occurred because growers may not see symptoms of the disease until spring.
Planning early with a seed treatment like CruiserMaxx® Vibrance® Cereals insecticide/fungicide can help young seedlings thrive through the most challenging conditions. Our seed treatment line-up can provide seed protection that stimulates quality root systems to deliver better emergence, stand establishment, nutrient uptake and stress tolerance to help plants overwinter better.
Sign up for the Know More, Grow More Digest to receive twice monthly agronomic e-mail updates pertinent to your area.
All photos are the property of Syngenta or are used with permission.
Syngenta hereby disclaims liability for third-party websites.