Insecticide Seed Treatments for Wheat

Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist
By Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist October 5, 2012 12:04

As we begin to gear up for wheat planting there have been several questions regarding the use of insecticide seed treatments. We have been testing insecticide seed treatments in wheat for several years and have seen a positive response in nearly every case.  The degree of the response may be related to the infestation level of Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus transmitted by the aphids. However, in Mississippi we have seen actual physical effects from high numbers of aphids causing wheat to lodge or even premature death in some cases.

In the past many folks have asked how a seed treatment in the fall has lasted all the way through March controlling aphids. The answer is they don’t.  We believe that most of the aphid problems we typically see in March originate from very low numbers of aphids that move into the crop in November and early December (dependent on weather) and explode to high numbers when temperatures increase in the spring. You’re simply seeing the effect of fall aphid control into the spring. Scott Stewart at The University of Tennessee posted a very good article a couple of weeks ago on the UT Crops Blog that shows yield results over the last several years from insecticide seed treatments. The following link will take you to that article. http://news.utcrops.com/2012/08/wheat-will-wait/

Keep in mind, that aphid infestations are always worse in the earliest planted wheat.  Avoid the temptation to plant too early.  Erick Larson has several articles that discuss the agronomic benefits from planting date as well. http://www.mississippi-crops.com/2011/10/03/how-to-plant-wheat-for-higher-yields/

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Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist
By Angus Catchot, Extension Entomologist October 5, 2012 12:04
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