A seed treatment combination offered by Gustafson promises to provide protection from a wide range of diseases, including rhizoctonia, pythium, thielaviopsis and fusarium.

The fungicide combination made of up Baytan, Ascend and Allegiance will offer a new standard in seedling disease protection, company representatives told agricultural dealers attending its annual field day May 25 in Benoit, Miss.

“This is the product I'm probably the most excited about,” says Chip Graham, Southern regional manager for Gustafson.

“Products like Baytan and Allegiance have provided cotton growers with protection from the three major stand-reducing diseases of rhizoctonia, pythium and thielaviopsis. However, the opportunity has been there for other diseases, particularly fusarium, to come in and damage the young cottonseed or seedling,” he says. “Now, with the addition of Ascend to our fungicide mix we are able to deliver the fusarium control that was missing.”

According to Graham, high levels of fusarium have been reported in each of the last three years of Beltwide seed treatment trials. “Many of the species of fusarium are not pathogenic, but some can reduce seedling vigor or delay the growth of the cotton plant. These symptoms can, in turn, lead to more invasion of the seedling by rhizoctonia and pythium, which often reduce stand establishment and can result in decreased yield.”

Fusarium solani is one disease species that has been recognized as a pathogenic species in cotton, Graham says. “The good news is that Ascend is the most active compound we have seen against this type of fusarium.”

The combination of Baytan, Allegiance and Ascend, Gustafson says, has risen to the top in the Beltwide seed treatment trials in three out of the last four years. Each year, between 15 and 18 different fungicide seed treatments are included in the tests.

Another fungicide product Gustafson showcased at its recent field day is Kodiak.

An older company standard, Kodiak is being re-introduced by the company as an alternative fungicide choice for cotton growers. “The product, which also provides activity against fusarium, performs especially well under stressful environmental conditions,” Graham says. “Again, while fusarium is a disease that may not directly cause a stand reduction, it will increase the stress on that cotton plant, which can lead to other reductions in stand.”

Another new product featured by Gustafson at its annual on-farm field day was Cotgard, a new grower-applied fungicide. Advertised as having “excellent” activity against several major seedling diseases, Cotgard is labeled for the control of rhizoctonia, pythium and fusarium in cotton.

A combination of Vitavax, Ascend and Allegiance, Cotgard is a dealer- or grower-applied seed treatment.