Reglone is by no means new. Many farmers have years upon years of experience with the desiccant. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that many samples taken from Reglonetreated fields are coming back with lower-than-expected germination numbers. Ed Thiessen, technical crop manager for Syngenta, says that the product did what it should last fall — it shut the plants down immediately after application. The problem is, it’s likely that much of the crop was still too immature, resulting in low germ levels this spring.
Thiessen says there are a few things you can do this year. The first is test seed before you use it, especially if it came from a desiccant-treated field. If germ and vigour are too low, find a different source. If levels are slightly less than ideal, clean the seed; small and wrinkled seeds are removed, increasing the overall quality of the seed lot. The second thing is to use a good seed treatment to protect seedlings against disease and insects. Finally, set the seeder properly for optimum depth and use a seeding rate that factors in a target plant population adjusted for gemination levels.
As for avoiding this in the future, Thiessen says that using Reglone is always a judgment call, and one that most farmers make very well. Last year really just threw us for a loop. In the face of uneven, patchy maturity, he says it’s worth combining and binning the crop seperately and chosing the more mature crop for seed. In fields where maturity is more random than patchy, it’s best to decide on desiccant timing on a field by field basis.