Four Steps for Stopping Cotton Seedling Diseases

Cotton Seedling

Prevent cotton seedling diseases from threatening yields in your fields by incorporating a variety of disease management strategies, including products such as Trilex® Advanced.

In the absence of preventive steps, seedling diseases can damage stands, rob yields two percent on average and cause significant revenue losses, according to the National Cotton Council of America.

These threatening seedling diseases including Pythium, Thielaviopis basicola, Rhizoctonia, cotton root rot, and Fusarium spp can infect cotton plants, inhibiting growth or causing death, and negatively affect your bottom line. To prevent yield losses, there are four steps you can take to protect your crop from seedling diseases.

Stop seedling disease before it takes root

To stop yield-robbing seedling diseases, consider taking the following four steps:

Step 1: Select a high-quality seed variety

Start off the season with a step in the right direction by choosing a high-quality seed variety. Select a variety that promotes rapid seed germination and has high plant vigor to reduce the timeframe that seedling diseases can infect your crop.

Step 2: Choose a seed treatment

Seed treatments can often serve as a primary defense for disease, if the seed is treated with a fungicide.  Planting seed that has been treated with an insecticide, such as Aeris® seed treatment, also helps protect your cotton stand.

Step 3: Plant at a warm soil temperature

Planting at a warm soil temperature can also help reduce susceptibility to disease. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension recommends planting your seed when soil temperatures are above 68 degrees Fahrenheit, as these conditions are less favorable for seedling diseases to develop.

Step 4: Use an in-furrow product 

Finally, using an in-furrow product, such as Velum® Total, can provide preventive protection from seedling diseases, such as those caused by Fusarium spp. This is especially important in low- or no-till fields, where seedling disease pressure is often higher than in conventional production.

Bayer solutions for cotton seedling diseases

Finding the right products can help you prevent cotton seedling diseases and protect your yields. Bayer offers effective solutions for managing cotton seedling diseases, including Trilex® Advanced.

Trilex Advanced has three active ingredients that provide broad-spectrum protection against stand-reducing diseases and seed-borne fungi. The ingredients concentrate in the lowest part of the plant to prevent disease and maximize yield potential.

“Trilex Advanced is a great choice for additional protection against Pythium, Rhizoctonia and Thielaviopsis,” said Chip Graham, SeedGrowth technical services representative with Bayer. This product also provides protection against Fusarium species.

Graham touts the benefits of using Trilex Advanced in fields that are no-till or have a history of disease. Using Trilex Advanced also offers flexibility to growers who want to plant early or in lower soil temperatures because it offers a broader spectrum of disease control on top of the base fungicide in the seed treatment.

For added pest protection, as well as for healthier roots, Aeris insecticide/nematicide is often paired with Trilex Advanced as a seed treatment. Aeris helps prevent nematodes and thrips from wounding root tissue, which can make the seedling more susceptible to disease. “This is a great additional add on to a seed treatment,” said Russ Perkins, technical service representative with Bayer. “Aeris paired with Trilex Advanced one of the strongest packages on the market for additional disease control, as well as for control of thrips and root-knot nematodes.”

When paired together, Trilex Advanced and Aeris can help growers foster healthier roots and protect their cotton seedlings from yield-robbing diseases and pests.

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