Bayer CropScience introduced this year its new ILeVO® seed treatment for soybeans. ILeVO is the first fungicide that will provide control of Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS). It is applied on the seed in combination with other fungicides, Poncho® insecticide and VOTiVO® that provides control of SCN.

Bayer CropScience has been researching any potential interaction of our new SDS and nematode seed treatment ILeVO with pre-emergent herbicides. We conducted our own internal testing in addition to supporting research conducted by faculty at Iowa State University and Purdue University. We were very excited to see the ISU Extension article, “Soybean Seedling Damage: Is There an Interaction Between the ILeVO Seed Treatment and Pre-Emergence Herbicides” written by the labs of Drs. Kiersten Wise and Daren Mueller. The article is the perfect example of well-timed education to inform and empower farmers.

Our internal testing results are consistent with those presented in the Extension article. First, ILeVO scores slightly higher than base herbicide treatments on an early season phytotoxicity scale due to the presence of the halo effect. In Drs. Wise and Mueller’s research this increase was approximately 0.5. The important result is that the relative increase in phytotoxicity score is stable across pre-emerge herbicide treatments, indicating that the halo effect does not become more severe with pre-emerge herbicide use, and ILeVO does not make any pre-emerge herbicide injury worse. Second, ILeVO, with or without pre-emerge herbicides, does not impact plant stands. Finally, and most important, the value of ILeVO, 5.5 bushels/acre in Drs. Wise and Mueller’s research, is not impacted by a farmer’s choice of pre-emergent herbicide and any risk that comes with using these herbicides during cool and wet springs.

The results of our internal testing and Drs. Wise and Mueller’s testing should give farmers confidence in using ILeVO across a diversity of farming practices. The cool wet spring we are currently experiencing across much of the Midwest favors infection by Fusarium virguliforme, the causal agent of SDS. We are shaping up to have another year of SDS outbreaks, making now the perfect time to get out and educate people about ILeVO, the halo effect and the benefit of ILeVO for farmers.

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About the Author: Dr. Michael McCarville