Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Skim milk powder and yellow mustard-meal treatment: Alternatives to the chemical seed-dressing for the control of common bunt in wheat

In 5-year field trials, the incidence of common bunt (Tilletia caries) in winter wheat was strongly reduced by a seed treatment with skim milk powder: on the average untreated seeds had 52 and treated seeds 3 diseased ears per m2. In 2-year field trials Tillecur (84.8 % yellow mustard-powder) was a very effectiv means of control: untreated seeds had 44 and treated seeds 1 diseased ear per m2. In a 5-year testing period, warm water treatment (45°C, 2 hours) was less efficious than a treatment with skim milk powder and yellow mustard-meal: untreated seeds had 52, treated seeds 11 diseased ears per m2. The chemicals gave a 100 % control of the disease.<br>The skim milk powder and the warm water treatment produced sometimes a delay in plant emergence. This delay had in general no influence on the amount of ears produced or on the yield. No delay in the plant emergence was observed after the seed treatment with Tillecur.<br><br>It is conluded that the combinated seed treatment with warm water (45¡C, 2 hours) and skim milk powder (160 g/litre water) controlled well the seed-borne infection of Tilletia caries (common bunt), Gerlachia nivalis (snow mould), Fusarium graminearum and Septoria nodorum (damping off) in winter wheat. When the seeds are only infected with T. caries yellow mustard-meal (Tillecur 60 ml/kg seed) is a good alternative to the chemical seed dressing.

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