Seed Treatment

May 4, 2016, Ontario – The early-planted potato crop in the Leamington area is sprouting nicely with strong, healthy sprouts. In the Simcoe-Delhi area, the second earliest area, planting is progressing well, according to the potato crop update from Eugenia Banks.

A few seed lots coming from other provinces had high incidence of common scab and silver scurf. 

Seed-borne silver scurf 
Silver scurf is a serious problem for fresh market growers. The fungus causes silvery brown lesions that can grow and join together covering most of the skin of the tuber. The fungus does not survive for very long in the soil, but does move from infected seed to daughter tubers. The variety Superior is very susceptible to silver scurf. If infected seed is planted, plan to harvest the crop as soon as the skin is set. Leaving potatoes in the ground after skin set stimulates the development of the fungus and results in more blemishes. Silver scurf also spreads easily in storage. High humidity increases sporulation, and air circulation in the pile spreads the spores to healthy tubers. 

Quadris in-furrow and Emesto Silver as a seed treatment are labelled for silver scurf. Post-harvest applications of phosphorous-acid based fungicides have been reported to reduce the incidence of silver scurf. 

Late blight 
There were several outbreaks of late blight this year on potatoes and tomatoes grown in Florida. South Carolina has also reported late blight on tomatoes. All of the outbreaks were caused by US 23 strain. According to the potato pathologist at the University of Wisconsin, US 23 is susceptible to Ridomil. 

April 28, 2015 - Farmers in Ontario are being offered expanded options to manage their empty seed and pesticide bags this year.

This pilot is part of the agricultural industry's commitment to the responsible management of its products throughout their entire lifecycle and will help determine the feasibility of a permanent program.

"This pilot project will build on the solid agricultural stewardship programming that is already in place in Ontario and provide farmers with more options for managing packaging waste on the farm and contributing to long-term goals of keeping agricultural waste out of landfills," says Barry Friesen, general manager of CleanFARMS.

CleanFARMS will collect, transport and ensure collected bags are safely converted to energy at facilities that have extensive emission controls and meet all necessary provincial and federal approvals. Farmers can contribute to a clean and healthy environment by ensuring that empty seed and pesticide bags end up in the right place.

"The end-of-life stewardship programs that CleanFARMS operates play an important role in our ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship," adds Mark Brock, chair of the Grain Farmers of Ontario.

Funding for this pilot program is provided by CropLife Canada, the Canadian Seed Trade Association, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

May to September

2015 Collection Sites
Collection sites will be located at participating retailers in Ontario. A list of participating retail collection sites can be found at


  • Empty pesticide bags: multi-walled paper, plastic and aluminum
  • Empty seed bags: multi-walled paper and polywoven plastic
  • How to return Bags:Obtain free collection bags from select agricultural retailers
  • Ensure that your seed or pesticide bags are empty
  • Place the empty bags in the collection bag

Return your full, tied bags to a participating retailer. Bags will be accepted free of charge and sent for safe disposal.
CleanFARMS is a not-for-profit industry stewardship organization committed to environmental responsibility through the proper management of agricultural waste.

For a list of all recycling programs, visit

April 4, 2014, Guelph, Ont. – Reason, a foliar potato fungicide from Bayer CropScience Canada, is now registered for use as a seed piece treatment. When applied as a seed piece treatment, the company says Reason provides protection against seed-borne late blight. Now, Reason can be used to protect against late blight and early blight through foliar applications and for seed-borne late blight protection.

As a seed-piece treatment Reason can be used alone when late blight is a threat or as a tank mix with Titan and/or Titan Emesto, according to a press release from Bayer. 

For more information

Feb. 20, 2014, Guelph, Ont. – Syngenta Canada Inc. has received registration for Cruiser Maxx Potato Extreme seed treatment for use on potato crops in Canada. The all-in-one liquid pre-mix delivers a concentrated formulation that is simple and convenient to use and provides reliable protection from seed-borne diseases and early-season insects.

Cruiser Maxx Potato Extreme contains three active ingredients for comprehensive control, according to a press release from Syngenta. The Group 4 insecticide, thiamethoxam, works systemically to provide broad-spectrum performance. "In the plant, it is translocated via the plant's water-conducting system where it remains active for up to 100 days. Cruiser Maxx Potato Extreme provides two modes of action against disease," the release stated. "The combination of Group 3 fungicide, difenoconazole, and Group 12 fungicide, fludioxonil, offer a broad spectrum of control, including protection from silver scurf, Rhizoctonia control, and a second mode of action against resistant Fusarium."

Feb. 19, 2014, Guelph, Ont. – Bayer CropScience Canada has received registration for Serenade Soil, a new biological fungicide for fruit and vegetable crops, including potatoes. With a unique mode of action (FRAC Group 44), the company says Serenade Soil creates a disease protection zone around the seed and roots. The beneficial bacteria in the fungicide grow with the plant, expanding the disease protection zone and creating armor for the seed and the roots against common soil diseases like rhizoctonia and pythium. The mode of action is exempted from maximum residue limits, and has a zero day pre-harvest interval, according to a Bayer press release.

"Studies have shown that because Serenade Soil helps activate the plant’s natural defense mechanism it improves root colonization, increases efficiency of photosynthesis, and improves plant growth," the press release said. Its liquid formulation allows for tank-mixing with both fungicide and insecticide products.

For more information, visit

Proven and new chemistry products launched by Syngenta Crop Protection Canada in 2009 are giving growers some new options for seed treatments and late blight control. Revus, registered in 2009, is billed as a “late blight specialist,” while Cruiser Max Potatoes is the first liquid seed piece treatment for both insect and disease control.
The variety of soil pathogens keep potato growers busy mitigating their potential crop damage, but a product that has been around for nearly a century is becoming more welcome in fields. Chloropicrin has a long track record of effectiveness on many soil-borne pathogens, including verticillium wilt, scab, Colletotrichum (black dot), rhizoctonia, fusarium, and phytophthora. First used on pineapples in Hawaii, the product is making its way into Canada’s potato fields.
“Chloropicrin could be one of the more expensive inputs, but our market would not be growing in Canada if growers were not getting a benefit from using it,” observes Dr. Chad Hutchinson of TriEst Ag Group, Inc., the North Carolina-based distributor of chloropicrin. Since its introduction to Canada in 2000, the soil fumigant has gained fans in Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. It is now being tried on potatoes in Manitoba.

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