my seed potatoes with seed dressing on them

The pros and cons of using potato seed dressings

Adding a seed dressing or treatment to seed potatoes before planting can significantly impact their growth and yield. In this article, I delve into the pros and cons of using potato seed dressings, along with common names of seed dressings used in potato growing.

I have witnessed the positive effects of using a seed treatment on my potatoes. I used Monceren (which is now discontinued) to boost the skin finish on my potatoes. It was easily worth the cost.

Table of Contents


  1. Disease Prevention: Seed dressings such as Maxim XL, Monceren G, and Apron XL often contain fungicides and bactericides that help prevent the onset of diseases such as late blight, black scurf, and silver scurf. These diseases can severely reduce crop yields and quality, so preventive measures are crucial.
  2. Increased Yield Potential: Treating seed potatoes with seed dressings like Cruiser and Emesto Prime may enhance the overall health and vigour of seed potatoes, leading to increased yield potential at harvest time. Healthy plants are better equipped to resist environmental stressors and produce larger, more abundant tubers.
  3. Improved Seed Quality: Seed dressings such as Rancona and Vortex can improve seed quality by reducing the risk of rot and other storage-related issues. This ensures that only the healthiest and most viable seeds are planted, promoting better crop establishment and uniformity.
  4. Enhanced Plant Protection: Seed dressings like Vibrance and Celest XL can provide protection against soil-borne pathogens and pests that may attack emerging seedlings. This protection is especially beneficial during the early stages of growth when plants are most vulnerable.
  5. Cost-Effective Solution: While the initial investment in seed dressings may add to production costs, the potential savings from reduced disease management and increased yields can outweigh the expenses in the long run, making it a cost-effective solution for farmers.


  1. Environmental Concerns: Some seed dressings contain chemical compounds that may pose environmental risks if not applied properly or if they leach into surrounding ecosystems. Careful consideration of the environmental impact is necessary when using certain types of seed dressings.
  2. Resistance Development: Continuous use of seed dressings containing certain active ingredients can lead to the development of resistance in target pathogens and pests. This can render the treatments less effective over time and necessitate the development of alternative strategies for disease and pest management.
  3. Application Challenges: Applying seed dressings requires precision and proper equipment to ensure uniform coverage of the seed surface. Inadequate application techniques can result in uneven distribution of the dressing, reducing its effectiveness and compromising plant protection.
  4. Regulatory Restrictions: Some regions have strict regulations governing the use of certain seed dressings, particularly those containing active ingredients deemed harmful to human health or the environment. Farmers must adhere to these regulations and seek alternative solutions where necessary.
  5. Potential Harm to Non-Target Organisms: Certain seed dressings may have unintended consequences on non-target organisms, including beneficial insects and soil microorganisms. Careful selection of seed dressing products and application methods can help mitigate these risks.

While adding a seed dressing to seed potatoes offers numerous benefits, there are some negatives, usually environmental and economic. By knowing the product inside out you can minimise the negative effects to an acceptable level.