The loss of Mesurol as a maize seed treatment to prevent bird damage is likely to have a far-reaching effect on the industry, but KWS has come up with an alternative solution. Initio Bird Protect has been launched for 2020 as standard across all KWS varieties.

Initio Bird Protect seed treatment has active ingredients that ensure fungicidal action and bird repellency. To enhance its efficacy, it also contains zinc and manganese micronutrients for faster root development.

Growing maize without a bird repellency seed treatment isn’t an option, according to KWS’ John Burgess.

“High UK populations of birds like pheasants and rooks mean that there’s a risk of significant crop losses from untreated seed or ineffective treatments,” he said. “In response to the withdrawal of both TMTD (thiram) and Mesurol (methiocarb), maize breeders are offering a variety of differing treatments. KWS recognised the withdrawal of both actives have led to the industry losing its go-to standards. As such we take a clear responsibility in safeguarding maize crop health.

“By offering Initio Bird Protect on virtually every KWS hybrid in our 2020 portfolio, we bring total clarity of choice for growers. This initiative will also help to protect the UK maize acreage, which is highly likely to diminish if untreated or fungicide-only treated seed is drilled. However with a backdrop of an ever-decreasing range of active ingredients, KWS researchers are also working towards a permanent solution to this issue,” he added.

Growers planting Initio Bird Protect treated seed have the KWS commitment to crop safety, bird repellency and best-in-class hybrids for the maize season ahead.

For more information visit: www.kws.com.