Stop SDS in Its Tracks
“SDS is a very emotional disease for growers because they’ve grown their soybean crop for months; and when those canopy symptoms show up in mid-to-late August, it’s very sudden,” says Dale Ireland, Ph.D., a technical product lead with Syngenta Seedcare. “You could think you have a very good crop, and then suddenly the leaves become chlorotic and begin dropping off prematurely, which can significantly affect yield.”
Second only to soybean cyst nematode (SCN), SDS ranks as one of the most detrimental soybean diseases for U.S. growers in terms of yield loss. Each year, SDS destroys an estimated 25 million bushels of soybeans,1 which is nearly $245 million in yield loss for growers.2
“With more power against SDS and no early plant stress, Saltro will help soybeans finish the season stronger.”
“SDS is a unique disease with symptoms that occur typically in the late reproductive stage,” says Jason Bond, Ph.D., a professor and plant pathologist at Southern Illinois University. “However, what’s causing those symptoms is the pathogen hiding in the taproot that infected those roots soon after planting.”
That’s why the availability of a better, more powerful seed treatment from Syngenta that starts protecting soybeans from SDS at planting is such welcome news.
Upgraded SDS Protection
Saltro® seed treatment, which recently received registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, contains the highly effective SDHI fungicide Adepidyn®. Starting at planting, Saltro will help protect soybeans from SDS pressure to preserve yield potential, without displaying the damaging side effects of phytotoxicity.
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Under high SDS pressure, Saltro also provides a statistically significant 3-bushel-per-acre yield increase over ILeVO® seed treatment.3
The Cause of SDS
To evaluate the impact Saltro may have on the 2020 U.S. soybean crop, it’s important to understand the root cause of SDS. The fungal pathogen that causes SDS — Fusarium virguliforme — lives in the soil and infects soybean roots soon after emergence. Early planting, cool soil temperatures and high moisture levels can promote disease development.
Heavy rains and warm temperatures around soybean flowering may encourage foliar symptoms to appear. And, while the pathogen itself mainly stays in the roots, it produces a toxin that moves into the plant’s parts that are above the ground and causes foliar damage.
“There are a lot of Fusarium species that attack soybean and corn roots,” Bond says. “The reason why farmers and the industry are so concerned with this particular Fusarium species is it causes that foliar scorch late in the year with moderate to devastating yield losses.”
Being a Good Scout
While it’s too late to take action once SDS symptoms appear, careful scouting above and below the ground can help growers identify hot spots and prepare for the next time they plant soybeans.
Noticeable foliar symptoms of SDS begin with yellow spots between the veins of the outermost canopy leaves and spread into chlorotic interveinal leaf scorching. Valuable leaves then become necrotic and detach from the plant, leaving petioles still attached. Other symptoms include the inner stem pith remaining white, flower and pod expulsions, root rot, and cobalt-blue growths on the outer root surface.
The timing of SDS symptom appearance plays a key role in total yield loss. “If severe foliar symptoms appear in earlier growth stages, there is a greater chance for catastrophic yield loss because there is more time for defoliation and pod expulsion,” Ireland says.
Proactive Protection for SDS
When it comes to SDS, it’s important for growers to use all the tools available to develop an effective disease management program. This could include:
- Planting fields without a history of SDS first. Growers should plant fields with a history of SDS later because young soybeans are more susceptible to infection in the cool, wet conditions of early planting.
- Reducing soil compaction. Purdue University Extension notes that tilling in known compacted areas may reduce disease symptoms by allowing the soil to warm more quickly during the spring.4
- Having soil tested for SCN. SCN root feeding allows the SDS pathogen to more easily enter the roots and infect the plant, leaving soybeans more vulnerable to infection.
- Planting SDS- and SCN-resistant varieties. “With the right seed treatment protecting soybeans from early infection, growers can significantly reduce the risk of late-season expression of SDS or even completely eliminate it,” Ireland says.
- Using an SDS seed treatment in combination with SDS-resistant varieties. “With the right seed treatment protecting soybeans from early infection, growers can significantly reduce the risk of late-season expression of SDS or even completely eliminate it,” Ireland says.
Oklesh believes Saltro is that right seed treatment. “With more power against SDS and no early plant stress, Saltro will help soybeans finish the season stronger,” he says. “And the payoff for growers at harvest will be consistently higher yield potential. It’s definitely an upgrade in SDS protection for our customers.”
1. United Soybean Board, “Wanted for Yield Robbery: Sudden Death Syndrome.”
2. United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.
3. Includes locations that exhibited 20% SDS incidence or more as measured by a local scientist. Syngenta Seedcare trials, 2015 to 2017, trial locations: AR, IL, IA, KY, MI, MN, TN, WI (a=0.1).
4. Purdue Extension, Field Crop Pathology, “Sudden Death Syndrome.”
Seed Treatment Offers SDS Protection Without Stressing Soybean Plants
Saltro fungicide seed treatment provides superior SDS protection without plant stress.