Seed treatments help break the Fusarium lifecycle

by | Dec 1, 2016 | Industry News

Fusarium is a fungus that survives in a wide range of hosts, causes significant losses in grain yield and quality, and is easily spread by wind. Noteworthy for Canadian growers, the Fusarium fungus can overwinter in soil, or on crop and grass residues.

When Fusarium overwinters, its lifecycle extends; when diseased seedlings die or residues remain on the field, they add the fungus into the soil. As the presence of the fungus in the soil increases, the likelihood of developing infected seedlings in the following year also increases, leading to a greater potential for yield losses.

Areas of Western Canada have experienced significant moisture in the last few years, and these damp conditions have allowed Fusarium to thrive. Fortunately, seed treatments can help control the Fusarium lifecycle. Effective seed treatments offer disease control and protect planted seeds from infected soil and residues.

Blake Bergen, a wheat and canola grower from Drake, Sask., said he has seen an increase in Fusarium in his area. “Fusarium has become increasingly prevalent for us, particularly in the last two to three years,” he says. “We often have those damp soils that provide an environment for fungus to survive. Having a good seed treatment to combat that and help stimulate root growth and plant vigour is very important for us.”

With Group 3, 4 and 11 active ingredients, Insure Cereal provides broad-spectrum protection against many seed- and soil-borne diseases, including seed rot, root rot and seedling blight caused by the Fusarium fungus. Insure Cereal offers the highest degree of Fusarium control, as it contains Group 3 and Group 11 active ingredients at rates which on their own are labelled for control. With two different active ingredients, Insure Cereal is a true multiple mode of action seed treatment that delivers high-level efficacy against Fusarium. In addition to protecting the crop from diseases, the Group 11 ingredient, Pyraclostrobin, provides AgCelence plant health benefits.

In performance trials, seeds treated with Insure Cereal show more consistent emergence and plant stand establishment, including under cool conditions. “Having consistent emergence is a key component to managing Fusarium. Consistent emergence leads to more consistent crop staging, which is shown to improve the performance of Fusarium Head Blight fungicides like Caramba,” said Russ Trischuk, technical marketing specialist for Function Crop Care at BASF Canada.

In addition, Insure Cereal delivers protection from environmental stresses like frost, so growers can expect to see increased seedling vigour.

“With Insure Cereal, we see a more robust plant—overall, the plants are larger,” said Trischuk. “The plants whose seeds are treated with Insure Cereal have larger leaves and a more extensive root system, and this allows them to capture nutrients and water more efficiently, leading to stronger overall health.”

Getting crops off to the best start with a seed treatment allows for more precise and effective in-crop foliar applications of fungicides throughout the crop’s lifecycle. Applying fungicides that protect the crop throughout the growing season lead to increased yield potential.

Insure Cereal is a strong seed treatment that shields crops against early threats, helping to protect a grower’s investment at planting time. For more information on Insure Cereal, visit

Source: BASF