Easy handling & effective root disease management a winning combination for WA farmers

Monday, February 20, 2017

Geoff Stade and his brother David farm 3,600 hectares on a mixed cropping and grazing property at Katanning. They crop wheat, barley, oats, canola and lupins on 60 percent of the farm and raise Dorper lambs on their clover pastures.

Geoff needed to manage the rhizoctonia patches in their cereal crops and was experiencing dust and residue issues on their machinery from seed treatment products. Based on advice from his local agronomist and Hannaford franchisee Derek Batchelor, Geoff used Rancona® Dimension seed treatment for the first time.

The Stades generally saw less root disease in their crops using Rancona Dimension, and had no issues with dust or residue problems through their air seeder.

"We like Rancona Dimension for the ease of handling and the peace of mind." said Geoff.

The easy handling is due to a unique micro-emulsion (ME) formulation consisting of very small emulsion droplets rather than solid particles in solution. This means Rancona Dimension acts like a true liquid providing superior seed coverage and adhesion - so more active ingredient ends up on your seed and not your equipment - and better contact with pathogens compared to other formulations in the market.

"When professionally applied by Hannaford's Derek Batchelor we know our seed has been done properly and Rancona Dimension has greatly reduced the amount of dust and residue that remains on machinery." said Geoff.

As well as reducing dust and providing easy clean down of machinery, Rancona Dimension seed treatment combats a range of root diseases. It is based on two active fungicides - 25g/L ipconazole and 20g/L metalaxyl - providing smut and bunt control, pythium control and suppression of crown rot and rhizoctonia when applied to wheat and barley seed at the recommended rates.

The ability to manage a range of diseases from the one product, by varying the rate according to your target disease, provides flexibility for cereal croppers. Use the 0.8L/t rate to control smuts and bunt, the 2.0L/t rate to control pythium, or dial the rate up to 3.2L/t to manage rhizoctonia and crown rot.

"In addition to the normal smuts and bunt control we now get pythium and crown rot, but most pleasing is the reduction in rhizoctonia patches," said Geoff. "When used in conjunction with flutriafol down the tube it (Rancona Dimension) covers a wide range of diseases early in the season."

With reports of an increase in root diseases in cereals last year, including crown rot at low levels in many WA wheat crops, it will be important to implement appropriate management strategies and use relevant seed treatments next season.