Not all pesticides and fungicides are equal.  They come in a variety of formulations and the seedling grower must know when and where to use them for optimal results.

Although seedlings grow for a limited time in a nursery, pest and disease management is crucial to healthy seedlings and plants. If considerable effort has been made to design and build a superior nursery, and the plants are neglected, all the money spent was in vain. It would then be easier to buy seedlings from a professional seedling supplier, than grow them on farm.

Many growers assume growing seedlings is easy. It is easy if they are taken care of and a preventative pest and disease programme is followed. Since the nursery area is usually moist, due to the many irrigation cycles needed, it is natural that there will be more insect, bacterial and fungal activity. In terms of a commercial viewpoint, most of these pests, bacteria and fungi are detrimental to the ultimate aim of the farming system. There are numerous pesticides and fungicides to control them but the grower needs to understand when and where they should be applied.

It is possible to apply pesticides and fungicides through the irrigation systems. However, one would either need to install an inline liquid fertiliser injector or mix the chemicals in a tank which is connected to the irrigation system.

There are many pesticides and fungicides formulations available to the grower. Each formulation has its advantages and disadvantages as it relates to the growers conditions and preferences. The advantages and disadvantages of each of the pesticides and fungicides formulations and how they should be applied to the seedlings are:

Advantages and disadvantages of each of the formulations and how they should be applied to the seedlings.
Seed treatmentcheap and highly effectiveAccurate equipment needed
Treated seed available
Potential risk of damage
Reduces germination %
SpraysCheapEasy to overdose
Wide range of productsDrenching for soil diseases can be expensive
Apply through irrigation systemDiluted after each irrigation cycle
Controls many problemsShort life span
Dust/powdersCheapEasy to overdose and damage seedlings
Easy to applyUnpleasant during windy conditions
Cheap equipment used
DipsHighly effectiveControl temporary
No special equipment usedCan shock seed
Treats a large amount of seedEasy to overdose
Reduces germination %
Hazard to operator
GranulesEasy to applyOverdosing easy
No equipment neededSpread of granules never even
Burning of seedlings occur
Handling of granules dangerous to health