Soybean sudden death syndrome, also known as SDS, is now among the top yield-robbing diseases in the U.S. In years when weather conditions are conducive to the pathogen, yield losses can be devastating. In 2010, cool and wet conditions caused the disease to run rampant in the Midwest. Many farmers saw a repeat of those conditions early in the 2014 growing season.
Soy-checkoff-funded studies show SDS cost U.S. farmers in excess of 25 million bushels in 2013 alone.
University of Illinois professor Brian Diers says variety selection is the best way to manage SDS, although no varieties have complete resistance.
“Some soybean varieties will get less SDS than other soybean varieties in the same field. It’s not that we have complete resistance to SDS, but what we see is different levels of resistance.”
Other recommendations include maintaining optimum soil conditions and avoiding planting during cool, wet springs.
For more information on how to manage SDS on your farm, visit www.unitedsoybean.org.