A sound seed base is necessary for optimum crop yield. Tests are available for seed pathogens. There are several cereal seed treatments to reduce pathogen induced losses. The decision to use a seed treatment depends on many factors: environmental conditions at seeding, crop rotations, pathogen exposure, cost, seed source and personal preference.
The risk of disease generally is reduced when proper crop rotations and a good seed source are used. Providing that seed source does not have a seed-borne disease, the most likely conditions when seed treatments would be effective are early seeding in cold soils with suboptimal moisture conditions (too dry or too wet).
Current information on different seed treatments is available in the Blue Book and on websites of companies manufacturing the chemicals. However, unbiased comparison of different seed treatments on crops in a given area helps producers to make informed decisions.