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Protect Soybean Seedlings From Disease

July 3, 2018
This agronomic image shows soybean seedlings.

As severe storms become more frequent in the summer season, soybean seedling diseases are on the rise. Seedling diseases are caused primarily by soilborne, fungal organisms that thrive under specific soil moisture and temperature conditions, resulting in the death of germinating and emerging seedlings. Common soybean seedling diseases include Phytophthora, Pythium, Fusarium and Rhizoctonia, which together cause most of the disease damage to seedlings.


  • Phytophthora favors wet, saturated conditions.
  • It causes black/brown lesions that extend from the roots to the soil line on the main stem.
  • The overwintering structure of this pathogen produces spores into the soil solution, infecting root systems of the plant.


  • Pythium causes pre-emergent damping off in seedlings.
  • Infection symptoms include underdeveloped roots and stems with a brown, mushy appearance.


  • The University of Illinois Extension states that Fusarium grows under many different environmental conditions and is most often associated with pre- and post-emergence damping off.
  • Affected plants tend to be stunted and have a weak, spindly appearance.


  • Rhizoctonia forms reddish-brown sunken lesions in the stem to the roots, reducing the translocation of water and nutrients causing the plant to wilt and die.
  • It typically favors moist soils at hot temperatures around 77 – 85°Fahrenheit, and forms patches within a field.

It’s important to choose the right seed and seed treatment to manage soybean seedling diseases early on. A combination of an effective seed treatment and sound management practices can protect against common soybean seedling diseases.

Syngenta recommends CruiserMaxx® Vibrance® Beans seed treatment, a combination of separately registered products, for broad-spectrum protection against many of the major early-season soybean diseases. CruiserMaxx Vibrance Beans helps protect plants from damping off, and optimizes root health and stress tolerance through the unique RootingPower of Vibrance fungicide. It helps reduce risk from early-season disease pressure and provides the highest stand percentage.

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