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Time to Scout for SDS and SCN

August 3, 2021
hands holding soybean leaves infected with sudden death syndrome

Inspect your soybeans for signs of Sudden Death Syndrome.

With much of the Upper Midwest facing serious drought conditions, you may not be thinking about scouting for Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) – a disease that thrives under cool, wet conditions. However, one pest that prefers dry conditions is Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN), and increased SCN activity could increase the risk of SDS developing next season.

When SDS and SCN occur in the same field, it can worsen the overall yield impact of both of these yield-robbing soybean pests. As SCN feed on the soybean roots, the SDS pathogen can enter the roots and infect the plant, resulting in devastating losses.

As the season progresses, be on the lookout for signs of both SDS and SCN to stay ahead of these yield threats.

Scouting Tips for SCN:


soybean infected with soybean cyst nematode on its roots

Soybean infected with SCN on the roots

The SCN Coalition says to check your soybean roots now to see if your SCN management program is effective. You can do this by:

  • Gently uprooting soybeans and removing the soil to inspect for female SCN, which are white in color.
    • Soybeans may look healthy above ground, but adult SCN females can be found on the roots of developing plants. The adult SCN females fill with eggs and eventually die, changing into hardened cysts that protect the eggs in the soil.
    • Female SCN are smaller than nodules, so a hand lens or flashlight can make it easier to see as you inspect the roots.
  • Submitting your soil samples to your local state extension service every 3-5 years to test for SCN presence.

What to Watch for with SDS:

soybean infected with sudden death syndrome

Soybean infected with SDS

During the reproductive stages in late August/early September, you can inspect your soybeans for these signs of SDS infection:

  • SDS symptoms will appear as pale green and yellow spots on the leaves.
  • The leaves may then turn brown and fall off the crop prematurely while the petioles remain on the stem.
  • If SDS is present in your soybeans, you can pull diseased plants out of the ground and see a decayed tap root and lateral roots.
  • If you were to cut the tap root lengthwise, you would see a gray to reddish brown color, and not healthy white flesh.

By knowing the location of SDS and SCN hot spots in your fields now, you can stay ahead of these pests in the future by making a strong protection plan.

Prepare for the 2022 Season

In fields with a history of SCN and SDS, be prepared to defend your soybeans against both SCN and SDS regardless of what Mother Nature throws at you next season. The risk of a repeat infection is too great to ignore.

To protect against both SCN and SDS, we recommend Saltro® fungicide seed treatment, which provides superior protection against SDS and SCN without added stress on soybeans. With upgraded SDS protection and robust nematode activity, Saltro can help your soybeans achieve maximum yield potential.

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

Product performance assumes disease presence. Performance assessments are based upon results or analysis of public information, field observations and/or 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.