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How to Manage Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome

August 2, 2016

Among the most destructive soybean diseases, sudden death syndrome (SDS) has the potential to significantly reduce soybean yields. The majority of U.S. soybean growers are affected by SDS once in every four years.

The environment plays a strong role in whether SDS appears in any given year or area. The risk of SDS infection is greatest when significant moisture occurs early in the growing season followed by heavy mid-summer rains saturating the soil.

While management options are limited, there are measures growers can take to proactively reduce the risk of SDS outbreaks. Preventive actions are essential because once the disease becomes apparent, control options are ineffective. Experts recommend:

  • Planting fields without a history of SDS first
  • Plant fields with a history of SDS later because young, slower growing plants are more susceptible to infection
  • Taking measures to avoid or reduce soil compaction

The occurrence and severity of SDS is also in part dependent upon soybean cyst nematode (SCN) presence. SCN influences SDS both directly and indirectly. SCN feeding within the root opens it for infection, while stress caused by SCN feeding weakens the plants’ defenses to disease. These two SCN influences are important factors related to root-affecting diseases. As a result, managing SCN populations has the potential to limit SDS severity. Beyond these agronomic recommendations, Syngenta has varieties and seed treatment options to improve disease management:

  • NK® Soybeans have proven tolerance to SCN, SDS and other pests and diseases.
  • Clariva® Complete Beans seed treatment, a combination of separately registered products, provides effective, season-long protection against SCN. Clariva Complete Beans also reduces the damage from SCN-related diseases, such as SDS.
  • Mertect® 340-F fungicide seed treatment has shown consistent performance and yield protection under SDS pressure in four consecutive years of testing. Mertect 340-F also offers additional activity on seedborne diseases, such as Phomopsis. Mertect 340-F can be added to Clariva Complete Beans to expand the pest protection to SDS.

Planting SCN-tolerant and SDS-resistant NK Soybeans treated with these seed treatments can help grow more soybeans achieve higher yields.

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