Boost spring barley establishment with root-promoting seed treatment

With the area of spring crops set to rise growers are being urged to consider the benefits of a growth-promoting seed treatment to ensure plants get the best possible start.

Interest in spring crops has been rising for several years. This has been led partly by the appealing returns of modern spring barley varieties with the yield potential to rival winter-sown alternatives, but also the much improved prospects of tackling black-grass afforded by all spring-sown crops.  The introduction of the three-crop rule has further promoted interest in spring crops.

Ensuring spring crops meet grower expectations however, first requires crops get off to a good start. Radiate, a root-promoting seed treatment from De Sangosse, can help achieve this by boosting the plant’s root mass making it better able to access nutrients and moisture.

“Radiate has been proven to boost auxin production within the seed. This helps the plant to increase root mass and rooting depth which leads to better establishment rates,” says De Sangosse commercial manager, Simon McMunn.

“Stronger roots help anchor the plant and increase lower stem strength. This aids a reduction in lodging and helps the plant to better endure periods of drought,” he adds.

Independent trials in spring barley over successive seasons have found that Radiate-treated crops yielded between 0.2 and 0.8 t/ha more than untreated crops depending on the season and growing conditions. In all trials the specific weight of harvested seed from treated crops was also better than that from untreated crops.

“Radiate is based on proven ZC technology that compliments single purpose dressings. Treated crops have consistently outperformed untreated crops, but those that have shown the greatest response have been on light soils where there is greater risk of crops suffering the effects of drought,” he added.

At a cost of around £8/ha, depending on seed rate, Radiate represents a worthwhile investment according to Simon McMunn who suggests it will give a return of 3:1 at current market prices.