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Make a Plan to Protect Yield from SDS and SCN

October 6, 2021
soybean disease - Sudden Death Syndrome

Sudden Death Syndrome on soybeans. 

As this year’s harvest kicks off for the 2021 growing season, the incidence and severity of diseases such as Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) is likely fresh on your mind. Although pests such as SDS and Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) infect soybeans early in the season, symptoms often don’t manifest until later in the summer, just before harvest. And these silent killers can devastate soybean yields. As harvest begins, it’s important to understand the causes of these yield-robbers and the preventive measures you can take to increase your yield potential in 2022.

Pathogen Development

SDS, a soilborne disease caused by Fusarium virguliforme, infects soybeans in the early growth stages, but foliar symptoms won’t appear until it’s too late to protect against it. Growers can experience as much as 80% yield loss from this disease.

SCN is capable of prolific reproduction; a single Cyst Nematode can result in over 1 billion eggs in a season because it rapidly multiplies through multiple generations. And as the No. 1 pest in soybeans, SCN has grown to cause more than $1 billion in damages annually, says the University of Minnesota Extension.

These pests continue to evolve and adapt to different growing conditions, with SDS thriving in cooler, wet conditions – often present during early planting – and SCN preferring drier conditions. This range of environments means soybeans in all growing regions are at risk.

Visual Symptoms 

Visual symptoms of SDS include noticeable foliar symptoms with yellow spots on the leaves, defoliation and subsequent leaf area reduction, leading to potentially pod expulsion, leading to potentially catastrophic yield loss. SCN damage can be caused without visual symptoms to the crop, making it even harder to detect in fields.

When SDS and SCN are found in the same field, this destructive duo can multiply yield loss rapidly as SCN feeds on soybean roots, causing the punctured roots to be more susceptible to SDS infection.

Because visible symptoms of SDS don’t show up until later in the year, the early stages of SDS infection are often forgotten. And in certain parts of the U.S., SCN is able to rapidly adapt to resistant varieties, making soybeans more vulnerable to both SCN and SDS.

Dale Ireland, Ph.D., technical product lead for Syngenta Seedcare, says it’s important for growers to be prepared to defend their yields, which includes using every tool available in their toolbox. Nonhost crop rotation, SCN- and SDS-resistant genetics, and seed treatments should all be used to help protect your return on investment. Approaching SDS and SCN from multiple angles can help fight these diseases head on.

We recommend Saltro® fungicide seed treatment for protection against both SDS and SCN. With more power than older technology, Saltro provides consistently superior SDS protection without the early-season stress from other products, helping soybeans maximize their full genetic yield potential. Saltro provides an average 4 bu/A yield advantage over ILEVO® seed treatment, under SDS pressure.*

Combining Saltro with SDS- and SCN-resistant varieties can significantly reduce the risk of early-season infection and subsequent late-season foliar symptoms, thereby protecting your bottom line.

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* U.S. trials with SDS pressure; 2015 – 2020. Trial locations: AR, IL, IA, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, TN, WI. Trials with significantly different disease incidence/severity rating between Check and SDS treatment.

Syngenta hereby disclaims any liability for third party websites referenced herein.

All photos are either the property of Syngenta or are used with permission.

Product performance assumes disease presence.

Performance assessments are based upon results or analysis of public information, field observations and/or internal Syngenta evaluations. Trials reflect treatment rates commonly recommended in the marketplace.

The trademarks or service marks displayed or otherwise used herein are the property of a Syngenta Group Company. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.