Syngenta has secured approval for the use of its Vibrance Duo seed treatment on barley to help protect crop yield and quality from seed and soil borne fungal disease.

Vibrance Duo, an equal mix of the active ingredients sedaxane and fludioxonil (25 grams/litre each), has been approved for winter wheat since 2017. Gillian Colman, seeds lead at Syngenta, says the product has changed attitudes to cereal seed treatment since then.

She advises that 52% of British soils are infected with Microdochium fungus, making seed treatments economically effective. Vibrance Duo is proven to increase root and foliage weight in winter wheat, leading to faster establishment and higher yield.

The barley approval means the treatment can now control fusarium; seed borne snow mould (Microdochium); and covered smut in winter and spring barleys. It has a moderate effect against leaf stripe and loose smut, but co-application with Rancona 15ME (ipconazole) extends the disease control spectrum for the latter two pathogens.

The “Vibrance effect” on wheat roots is repeated in barley with more and longer primary and lateral roots compared to controls, which means treated crops can find more water in all soil types and fare better in dry conditions.

hybrid winter barley from Vibrance Duo + ipconazole (right) versus standard seed treatment (left)

Trials have shown an 128% increase in root weight and 18% rise in foliage weight for hybrid winter barleys and a 45% increase in root weight and 30% in foliage weight in conventional winter barleys than from untreated controls. Spring barleys saw a 113% increase in root weight and 0.2t increase in yield.

The company is running 46 winter and spring barley trials in 2020, as well as on 10 ADAS certified seed split fields using the Laureate variety.

The application rate is 2 litres per tonne of seed for both winter and spring barleys.