Watching out for disease is critical to keeping soybean stress low and to ensuring maximum yields. One of the biggest production constraints in 2014 was sudden death syndrome (SDS), with growers in some parts of Illinois losing up to 40 or 50 bushels per acre from the disease.

To ensure growers go into the 2015 season with a plan to control SDS Jason Bond, Ph.D., plant pathologist with Southern Illinois University, and Mike McCarville, Ph.D., scientist and technical service representative with Bayer CropScience, led an webinar on top strategies to manage the disease.

Watch the webinar below for information on SDS, tips for disease management, ways to overcome resistance and ideas for seed treatments to complement an SDS management plan.

Key Takeaways:

  • SDS affects soybeans in the seedling stage and branches out to the roots and leaves, so it often causes stand losses from the moment the plants come out of the ground
  • Scouting for SDS is an essential step in controlling the disease. Symptoms appear after the reproductive stages (around R1 or R2) and indicate the range of disease severity:
    • Foliar damage — If SDS only affects the foliage, showing chlorosis or visible dead tissue on the leaves, growers may see a few bushels yield loss
    • Pod abortion — If SDS progresses to the point of causing pod abortion, growers can lose up to 40 or 50 bushels
  • Yield losses due to SDS depend on the susceptibility of the variety and how early symptoms begin
  • The SDS pathogen lives in the soil, so once it appears the pathogen will remain in that field
  • The severity of SDS is increased with:
    • Early planted fields (those planted before the first week of May)
    • Susceptibility of host genetics
    • High moisture and low soil temperatures during vegetative growth
    • Cool periods during flowering
    • Presence of soybean cyst nematode (SCN)
  • Growers can take steps to fight SDS through resistant varieties and seed treatments
    • ILeVO® is a seed treatment that protects against SDS and SCN
    • 2014 studies found that 95% of the time applying a high ILeVO concentration provides a positive yield response (average of 8 bu/A)

For more information on ILeVO, read our recent post, “ILeVO: Another Solution to SDS.”

Join us for the next webinar on Wednesday, April 8, as Lance Tarochione, agronomist with Monsanto, presents tips on managing soybeans for high yields during times of tight margins and answers grower questions. One CEU is available for participating CCAs.

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