The drum that does it all is a hit in the Mallee

Monday, February 20, 2017

Departments of Agriculture from Western Australia to New South Wales have reported an increase in root diseases in cereals this season.

These diseases include the potentially damaging crown rot and rhizoctonia.

The impact of these root diseases has been minimized in instances where farmers have implemented appropriate management strategies and used seed treatments.

Lynton Barrett runs a 4,000 ha mixed farming operation at Lameroo in South Australia, cropping barley, oats, lupins, faba beans, and cereal and pasture hay, as well as running sheep and cattle. Eight 70 acre irrigated sites are used for growing potatoes, lucerne for hay and seed, summer forage crops and seed crops such as vetch.

Lynton has been using Rancona® Dimension and Zincflo®Plus seed treatments on his winter cereal seed for the last couple of years.

In addition to using Rancona Dimension and Zincflo Plus Lynton has adopted management strategies to reduce the impact of root disease: ensuring adequate crop nutrition (especially nitrogen, phosphorus and zinc); controlling weeds early; and using soil disturbance to break up the root disease fungi in the soil and improve the health of the soil and rotating crops.

This combined approach is paying off for Lynton with less root disease evident in his crops over the last couple of seasons.

"Rancona Dimension is an excellent product and it has altered the way I can crop my sandy loam country," said Lynton. "This is because we are on a two year rotation which means rhizoctonia has always been a consideration, as it causes yield losses."

Rancona Dimension seed treatment is based on two active fungicides - 25g/L ipconazole and 20g/L metalaxyl. It provides smut and bunt control, pythium control and suppression of crown rot and rhizoctonia when applied to wheat and barley seed at the recommended rate.

Its unique micro-emulsion (ME) formulation also provides extremely low dust off at application and easy clean down of machinery compared to other products.

"Rancona Dimension has allowed us to crop into a pasture paddock with the confidence that we will achieve good yields" said Lynton.

"I also use Zincflo Plus on my seed because zinc is a given in the Mallee soil - low in zinc and with rhizoctonia issues - in order to produce a good crop that yields well." he said.

Zinc is an essential micronutrient that enhances disease resistance and improves plant vigour. Adequate zinc levels in the plant have shown to reduce the impact of both crown rot and rhizoctonia.

Zincflo Plus seed treatment helps by improving the ability of a plant to resist attack by both crown rot and rhizoctonia, therefore helping to reduce yield loss.

Formulated as a seed treatment, it is a chelated form of zinc that is more plant available than inorganic forms. When chelated zinc is applied as a seed treatment, the chelate enables the zinc to remain available to the plant longer than an oxide form.

If you've seen evidence of root disease in your crop this year, consider taking an integrated approach to managing crown rot, rhizoctonia and pythium or rest your paddock from cereals.