Seed treatments shouldn't be overlooked even though they may constitute only a small part of a grower's overall disease and insect control program. A variety of fungicides and insecticides now are available for growers to apply to seed pieces prior to planting or as in-furrow treatments.
Because disease and insect pressures differ from one growing region to another, producers should carefully select those products that best fit their situations. Many of the products now available provide effective control of multiple disease and/or insect threats in a single formulation. As always, apply according to label directions.
Below is a list of potato seed treatments currently on the market:
- Maxim 4FS (Syngenta) - A liquid potato seed treatment that controls rhizoctonia, fusarium seed piece decay and silver scurf. Maxim 4FS provides long-lasting activity at very low use rates, according to the manufacturer. One quart treats approximately 40,000 pounds of seed.
- Maxim MZ (Syngenta) - A dust seed treatment that provides long-lasting activity at low use rates. The active ingredient, fludioxonil, protects potatoes from diseases that cause poor emergence, uneven crop growth and crop stand reduction. Maxim MZ also contains mancozeb, which helps prevent seed-to-seed transmission of late blight.
- Cruiser Maxx Potato (Syngenta) - A liquid seed treatment that combines Syngenta's Cruiser seed treatment insecticide with its Maxim 4FS seed treatment fungicide. The formulation provides protection against a broad-spectrum of sucking and chewing insect pests, plus all major seed-and soil-borne fungal disease pathogens.
- MonCoat MZ (Gowan) - A powdered fungicide formulation for control of seedling diseases. MonCoat MZ is a dry formulation containing alder bark, mancozeb and flutolanil. Application should be made to the potato seed pieces prior to planting.
- Moncut 70-DF (Gowan) - Provides effective control of black scurf or rhizoctonia. Apply the product as an in-furrow spray by directing the spray uniformly around and over the seed piece in a 4- to 8-inch band just prior to covering with soil.
- Ridomil Gold SL (Syngenta) - A systemic fungicide for use as a spray at planting. Apply at a 6-8 inch band. Provides effective protection against soil-borne diseases such as pythium and phytophthora. The enhanced clear solution formulation mixes easily with water and remains stable and translucent with time.
- Quadris Ridomil Gold (Syngenta) - A broad-spectrum fungicide for use as a spray at planting. Apply at a 6- to 8-inch band. A single application provides effective control of pink rot, pythium leak, black scurf (rhizoctonia) and black dot.
- Ultra Flourish (Nufarm) - A systemic fungicide for use at planting. The active ingredient, mefenoxam, moves through the soil into the root system. From there, it translates throughout the plant, forming a protective barrier from harmful soil diseases caused by pythium and phytophthora species.
- Tops MZ Gaucho (Bayer CropScience) - A dust treatment formulation that contains two fungicides, plus an insecticide. Provides effective control of late blight, rhizoctonia and silver scurf. It also is highly effective against Colorado potato beetle, green peach aphid, potato leafhopper, flea beetles and psyllids.
- Admire Pro (Bayer CropScience) - A soil-applied systemic insecticide that provides long-lasting control of damaging insects such as aphids, Colorado potato beetles, leafhoppers and many other sucking and chewing pests.
- Belay (Valent) - A broad-spectrum insecticide that provides long-lasting control of pests such as green peach aphids, Colorado potato beetles and leafhoppers. It can be applied as a fine spray to cut or whole seed pieces or as an in-furrow spray directed over seed pieces at planting.
- Serenade Soil (AgraQuest Inc.) - A biological fungicide that directly attacks diseases in the soil including pythium, rhizoctonia, fusarium and phytophthora. It can be tank-mixed with other in-furrow products like fungicides or fertilizers.
—Dave Wilkins, Spudman Contributor