Fungicides may be dusted or coated onto seed to provide a thin protective layer. This can prevent attack by fungi carried by the seed itself or in the surrounding soil.
Diseases that attack germinating seeds and seedlings include damping-off caused by Pythium and wire-stem (Rhizoctonia solani). As well as these seedling diseases, other problems that can become evident on more mature plants may also be controlled by treating the seed with a fungicide coating.
Several fungicides are registered for vegetable seed use in Western Australia. The registration and availability of chemicals for disease, pest and weed control change regularly. Consult a trained and experienced horticultural agronomist or the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) website for chemicals that are currently registered or have a permit for use on this crop.
The information on the label or permit for a chemical must be followed, including the directions for use, critical use comments, withholding period and maximum residue limit. Quality assurance (QA) schemes for horticultural crop production require producers to have current information on chemical registrations and permits readily available.
The original material for this article was authored by Robert Floyd and Eleanor Melvin-Carter.