Open eyes to Maxim seed treatment
Effective seed treatment can quickly build bigger and stronger root systems, which are able to support higher number of tubers with more even size and maturity at harvest.
Frontier Agriculture potato seed treatment specialist, Paul Overton, reports the company’s extensive trials with Maxim (fludioxonil) have shown it will consistently enable more eyes to open and stimulate extra rooting.
“More viable eyes which increase stem numbers per hectare is key to increasing overall yields,” advocated Paul.
“Our controlled environment trials at Sutton Bridge have repeatedly shown Maxim encourages earlier and stronger root vigour."
“On farm, that has translated to more even initial movement in the seed storage box, and typically means crops are faster to reach 100% emergence.” He believes achieving a more consistent crop with the seed treatment has benefits for agronomy right through the season.
Frontier’s dedicated store at Sutton Bridge has been designed specifically to accelerate seed-borne diseases on seed lots. “If we can identify seed issues before planting, it gives the chance to make the best decisions on what treatments to recommend,” advised Paul.
“We can also get a better understanding of Maxim treatments on different varieties.”
Growing salad varieties, for example, he reported combinations of ethylene and Maxim have shown to stimulate far greater shoot numbers. Furthermore, varieties that typically exhibit strong dormancy, such as processing varieties Brooke and Taurus, have appeared more likely to break dormancy with the seed treatment, he pointed out.
“Stolon numbers are the absolute framework for carrying tubers and increasing the yield potential. With the Maxim treatment the cleanliness and vigour of the stems is incredible, so growers and agronomists can really begin to influence potato plant population dynamics for higher yields and marketable quality.”
Fludioxonil is particularly well suited as a seed treatment, since it is relatively immobile in the soil and stays surrounding the tuber and protecting roots for longer.
“Treatment in store pre-planting is controlled, convenient and saves another task for planter operators,” advised Paul.
Field trials and lab studies by Frontier and Syngenta, have shown in-store application had beneficial all-round effects on a range of skin diseases, including skin spot and Fusarium, along with the label approval for Rhizoctonia solani, black dot and silver scurf.
For growers buying in bagged seed, their unloading into boxes within 48 hours of arriving on farm is an ideal opportunity for Maxim treatment, he highlighted.
Over past seasons most of the seed treatment has been applied at source or by specialist contractor on-farm. Furthermore, many growers are now kitting up with their own applicators, for convenience and greater selectivity on which seed to target for specific fields or risk situations.