Growers are being advised to look back at the previous year’s performance in order to select the best seed treatments for this season.
As many were faced with one of the most severe yellow rust epidemics for many years, using a rust-effective treatment is more important than ever before.
Sales director at Nickersons Alastair Moore said when it comes to choosing a variety, Jockey has performed particularly well in trials conducted by the firm.
Results show that crops treated with Jockey have come into the spring much cleaner and healthier.
He said: “Overall the Jockey treated crops have been easier to manage and have provided some protection for the critical fungicide timings in one of the most challenging seasons we have seen for a long while.
“We got good foliar and stem based disease control from the Jockey as crops came into the spring and importantly, this carried through to the T0, meaning that subsequent timings were not compromised as a result.
“Once the T0 went on at the correct time, the T1’s were not put on too early and fungicides were able to operate at their full potential.”
He added: “Many crops using only an SPD, required an earlier T0 therefore compromising the follow on timings meaning some leaves were left unprotected for several days lowering green leaf retention – and this season this was several days too many – as yellow rust came in with devastating effects in some cases.”
Alastair went on to speak of the economic benefits that Jockey can bring to growers: “Jockey more than pays for itself - even if only based on foliar disease control and discounting the take-all value – the yield benefits are significant.
“Based on a seed rate of 150kg seed/ha the extra cost of Jockey over and above an SPD works out at £20/ha (£8/acre), or at a higher rate of 185kg seed /ha this is £22/ha (£9/acre).”
“Working on the cost of Jockey today being the equivalent of 0.16t/ha and considering that historically Jockey has shown yield responses of 10-15%, worth up to £150/ha (£130/ha margin over input cost.), the figures speak for themselves,” he said.
“For many growers thinking that the extra costs up front are too much when it’s impossible to know what the season will bring – my advice is to think of it as an insurance premium – this is a critical part of protecting the investment in the ground from the very beginning of the season.”