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New seed treatment gives spring crops a much-needed boost

22/02/2021

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New seed treatment gives spring crops a much-needed boost

Growers intending to sow spring cereal seed this season should consider using a proven biostimulant dressing to aid germination and crop establishment.

Incessant rain across the country over the past few months could lead to a difficult start for crops, according to Agrovista technical manager Mark Hemmant.

“Spring cereals could end up being sown quite a bit later than planned and some are likely to go into less-than-ideal seedbeds, especially on heavier soils,” he says. “This will delay germination and emergence, leaving crops struggling and stressed from the outset.

“You never know what the season is going to bring, so some sort of insurance is worthwhile. Last year was very poor for spring cereals because they struggled to establish in the cold and wet. Prospects for this season look pretty uncertain too, so it makes sense to do what we can to get these crops up and away.”

One product now on offer from Agrovista has stood out in trials thanks to its unrivalled beneficial effects on early growth. Voltek contains a combination of root-stimulating phosphite that improves nutrient use efficiency and an organo keto acid metabolite that reduces the physical stress caused by cold and drought and increases chlorophyll production and shoot biomass development.

In Agrovista trials carried out last year on spring barley in East Anglia and Yorkshire, Voltek plus single-purpose-dressed seed delivered impressive yield increases compared with SPD seed alone across five sites, four of which were statistically significant.

Treated output across all sites averaged 7.55t/ha, 0.53t/ha more than the control, delivering about £80/ha return on investment assuming a barley value of £170/t.

In 11 manufacturer trials, the product produced an average of 7% more yield, similar to the above result, with over 90% chance of a return on investment.

Earlier manufacturer trials also showed significant effects on other crops including spring barley, oilseed rape, peas, beans and winter wheat, where a typical yield uplift of 0.35-0.5t/ha can be expected, according to the manufacturer.

“Our experience shows Voltek consistently delivers a robust performance in trials and on-farm evaluations,” says Mark. “It offers low-cost insurance and a very strong chance of a good payback, so it looks like a good investment this spring.”

Voltek benefits

  • Increased root and shoot biomass
  • Improved establishment
  • Increased stress tolerance
  • Enhanced germination
  • Increased overwintering tolerance

Voltek delivered a 25% increase in ground cover in this crop of spring barley at GS24-26

Voltek seed dressing offers low-cost insurance and a very strong chance of a good payback