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Success starts at the seed

Potato seed treatments set up a high-quality crop.

Sarah McNaughton

December 6, 2022

3 Min Read
Potatoes
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS: Agronomist Kiran Shetty at Syngenta says to achieve a high-quality and high-yielding potato crop, start with good seed and use seed treatments.Arctic-Images/Getty Images

To set up a potato crop for success in 2023, consider the right seed treatments as the first line of defense, says Kiran Shetty, technical services agronomist for Syngenta.

“Starting the season with a good quality, certified seed is always the first thing that comes to mind,” he says. Due to the potato seed’s cut surfaces, they often are more susceptible to diseases both in storage and after planting, he adds.

“This is where you maintain that seed health after it’s received until planting, and how they maintain that seed during the course of cutting and handling,” Shetty says. “Protecting that cut surface is why we prescribe seed treatments.”

Even before applying products like a seed treatment, providing the cut seed the right environment is a key piece in the puzzle. “We have to give the seed the right environment, temperature, relative humidity and oxygen,” Shetty says.

“If you give the seed a good start, then you’ll be better set to finish well,” he says. “When growers can get a good crop stand, then they are more likely to produce a healthy plant early in the season.”

For crops that have begun to be affected by disease, pests or other yield-robbers, growers can often waste resources as they try to catch up to these issues.

“Did your crop start poorly due to preventable issues? The crop could continue to struggle throughout the season, wasting valuable fertilizer, crop protection products and water if it doesn’t have a good stand at the beginning,” Shetty says.

Holistic seed treatments

Shetty says active ingredients like thiamethoxam, sedaxane fludioxonil and difenoconazole — the main components in CruiserMaxx Vibrance Potato seed treatment — is specifically formulated to control diseases and pests throughout the crop’s life. “Seed treatments definitely address the protection of the cut are, and works to protect the whole seed,” he says.

“These ingredients give you protection against a broad spectrum of diseases that can be a problem in the plant’s early stages,” he says. “The three fungicides in CruiserMaxx Vibrance Potato work to complement each other for a wide range of diseases.”

With CruiserMaxx Vibrance Potato containing both fungicide and insecticide ingredients, it works to ensure the best start to the potato crop right off the bat.

“Potatoes that are planted can be attacked by certain insects like the Colorado potato beetle and aphids,” he says. “The components all work to give protection against diseases and insects that could harm the crop in the early season.”

Utilizing a portfolio

The best management for disease and insect control, Shetty says, is an integrated approach. “Some of these diseases can still be problematic through the season, so complementary crop protection can be combined in a program rather than taking a shotgun approach,” he says.

Growers should design a crop protection plan based on their farm’s specific disease and insect pressures, and ensure treatment is applied at appropriate growth stages.

“If they have a silver scurf issue, which is a disease on the seed, but then it goes through the production cycle and caries into harvest and storage, we cannot expect a seed treatment alone to address this issue,” he says.

To get the best results and the best crop at the end of the season, Shetty says growers have to have a program that allows the best of all crop protection steps.

For more information about CruiserMaxx Vibrance Potato and other seed treatments check out Syngenta’s website.

About the Author(s)

Sarah McNaughton

Editor, Dakota Farmer, Farm Progress

Sarah McNaughton of Bismarck, N.D., has been editor of Dakota Farmer since 2021. Before working at Farm Progress, she was an NDSU 4-H Extension agent in Cass County, N.D. Prior to that, she was a farm and ranch reporter at KFGO Radio in Fargo.

McNaughton is a graduate of North Dakota State University, with a bachelor’s degree in ag communications and a master’s in Extension education and youth development.

She is involved in agriculture in both her professional and personal life, as a member of North Dakota Agri-Women, Agriculture Communicators Network Sigma Alpha Professional Agriculture Sorority Alumni and Professional Women in Agri-business. As a life-long 4-H’er, she is a regular volunteer for North Dakota 4-H programs and events.

In her free time, she is an avid backpacker and hiker, and can be found most summer weekends at rodeos around the Midwest.

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