The role of seed treatments in wheat disease management
The research results on these products indicate some situations where a yield response may exceed 20%. Unfortunately, this yield response is inconsistent among years. Why is this? In some years, the peak aphid activity occurs in the fall and the insecticides do a great job of preventing the aphid populations and spread of the disease. But if the aphids remain active during a mild winter or arrive in the spring, the insecticide is no longer effective.
Seed treatments have important role in wheat production in Kansas, a role that goes beyond stand establishment. The primary role of these products may be to manage seed-borne diseases and to reduce the risk of BYD. When it comes to BYD management, it is important to have realistic expectations. In some situations there will be a yield response large enough to make the practice worthwhile, but you may have to weather some years where the aphid population is active beyond the limits of the insecticide.
More information about production options and priorities for wheat seed treatments can be found in the recent K-State publication: Seed Treatment Fungicides for Wheat Disease Management 2012, MF2955 at your local county Extension office or at www.ksre.ksu.edu/library/plant2/MF2955.pdf/