The importance of fungicide seed treatments on cotton was examined using a series of standardized fungicide trials from 1993 to 2004. Fungicide seed treatments increased stands over those from seed not treated with fungicides in 119 of 211 trials. Metalaxyl increased stands compared to nontreated seed in 40 of 119 trials having significant fungicide responses, demonstrating the importance of Pythium spp. on stand establishment. Similarly, PCNB seed treatment increased stands compared to nontreated seed for 44 of 119 trials with a significant response, indicating the importance of Rhizoctonia solani in stand losses. Benefits from the use of newer seed treatment chemistries, azoxystrobin and triazoles, were demonstrated by comparison with a historic standard seed treatment, carboxin + PCNB + metalaxyl. Little to no stand improvement was found when minimal soil temperatures averaged 25°C the first 3 days after planting. Stand losses due to seedling pathogens increased dramatically as minimal soil temperatures decreased to 12°C and rainfall increased. The importance of Pythium increased dramatically as minimal soil temperature decreased and rainfall increased, while the importance of R. solani was not affected greatly by planting environment. These multi-year data support the widespread use of seed treatment fungicides for the control of the seedling disease complex on cotton.
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