Winter barley yield bonus from root-boosting seed treatment seen in trials

Winter feed barley growers looking to try a Vibrance Duo-based fungicide seed treatment for the first time this autumn, after its launch into barley earlier this year, can take heart from yield improvements seen in the latest trials.

Use of Vibrance Duo co-applied with a loose smut-active seed treatment, which Syngenta recommends against the increasing disease problem, delivered as much as an extra 0.75 t/ha over a standard seed treatment, reports Dr Jonathan Ronksley, field technical manager for seedcare for Vibrance Duo producer, Syngenta. 

The average yield benefit from the Vibrance Duo-based approach over the standard treatment across all 17 trial sites was an extra 0.15 t/ha, he notes.

“Earlier in the season, improved yield was preceded by higher numbers of winter barley plants establishing per metre squared, increased tiller numbers and improved root growth from the Vibrance Duo-based seed treatment in the trials,” says Dr Ronksley.

Trials harvested in 2020 have confirmed yield improvements in winter barley from using a Vibrance Duo-based seed treatment, says Dr Jonathan Ronksley of Syngenta

Trials harvested in 2020 have confirmed yield improvements in winter barley from using a Vibrance Duo-based seed treatment, says Dr Jonathan Ronksley of Syngenta

“Even in hybrid barley, which is known to produce vigorous growth anyway, the Vibrance Duo-based approach still produced improvements in establishment, plus rooting and yield. Hybrid barley root weight in a later-drilled situation on light land, for example, was boosted by a full 27%.”

In winter barley trials focused on maximising control of loose smut in particular, Dr Ronksley says Vibrance Duo plus a loose smut active seed treatment not only gave 100% control of the disease but also 0.3-0.4 t/ha extra yield over two alternative seed treatments.

Winter wheat trials conducted in the difficult conditions of last season also confirmed improvements in establishment, rooting and yield from Vibrance Duo, as seen over previous years, says Dr Ronksley. Its use in an early drilling situation of 12 September – when kinder establishment conditions might have been expected to reduce the benefit of using a fungicide seed treatment – still delivered a 0.18 t/ha increase in yield, he notes.

“Over numerous years of trials and across multiple crops, we have seen Vibrance Duo to be a very robust treatment.

“Vibrance Duo is an excellent new option for use on winter feed barley. It cannot be used on barley seed crops grown for certified seed production, and we are still awaiting the outcome of the malting barley approval process, so for this season we do not recommend use on winter malting barley,” Dr Ronksley notes.

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.