Weather events in 2019 brought about a very challenging year for soybean farmers. Due to the wet conditions, soybean sudden death syndrome was prevalent.

According to experts, chances of infection and colonization of the fungus that results in sudden death syndrome — or SDS — are favored by cool, wet soil conditions.

“Right now, our fields are not in the best shape,” Syngenta agronomist Travis Gustafson said. “Flooding and heavier than usual rainfall has caused compaction of the soil during harvest.”

He said the circumstances will probably make for another year of heavy SDS in eastern Nebraska.

“It is best to take proactive measures,” Gustafson said.

That includes choosing a seed treatment designed to combat the disease. Syngenta offers Saltro, a fungicide containing Adepidyn with SDHI mode of action. The seed treatment reduces the chance for phytotoxicity, Gustafson said, which causes stress to soybeans.

“Planting time is the time to prevent SDS,” he said. “Initially, the fungus infects and grows in soybean roots.”

The new treatment also manages cyst nematodes, which can contribute to soybean plants’ vulnerability to SDS, Gustafson said. Some evidence has been discovered to suggest nematodes can carry the SDS fungus, he added.

Healthier leaves and roots eventually culminate in greater potential yield, he said. Trials done at Syngenta’s Seedcare Institute in Stanton, Minnesota, demonstrated that Saltro adds about three bushels per acre if no SDS is present and more bushels per acre if SDS is present.

Jon Burleson can be reached at jon.burleson@lee.net.

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