The Raxil line of specialist barley seed treatments was first introduced in 1995 as Raxil S (tebuconazole + triazoxide) and Raxil Star (prothioconazole + tebuconazole + fluopyram) is the latest incarnation. It was launched for winter barley last year and has now received approval for use on spring barley for this spring.
One of the ingredients, fluopyram, is an SDHI fungicide and this is the first use of this chemistry as a seed treatment in cereals, says Peter Stacey, Seed Treatment Manager for Bayer CropScience. Whilst this group of fungicides is restricted to a maximum of two foliar sprays under FRAG (Fungicide Resistance Action Group) guidelines, the use of Raxil Star does not affect post-emergence use. Bayer have designed Raxil Star as a mixture of active ingredients with a low dose of fluopyram so that it does not affect the post-emergence restrictions.
Getting the crop away is key to maximising yield as barley does not compensate for poor establishment in the same way as wheat. The weather last season caused high levels of seed-borne diseases on almost all barley seed, whether from the UK or the continent. Whilst there was a wide range of diseases detected on seed, the main seed-borne ones of concern are seedling blight (Microdochium nivale), leaf stripe, net blotch and loose smut with smut and seedling blight being the most serious and having the greatest effect on yield.
The three actives in Raxil Star provide robust control of the wide range of seed-borne diseases that can affect barley, comments Mr Stacey. It is especially active on loose smut and Microdochium nivale and not only reduces levels on seed so that it can be safely used for planting but will also increase yield in infected crops.