Sudden Death Syndrome is popping up in Indiana soybean fields and a Purdue specialist says all you can do about it now is confirm SDS exists and then prepare accordingly for next year. Kiersten Wise says the signs from the windshield will be patches of orange and yellow, some dieback and defoliation, and the prevalence of the disease stems from the wet Hoosier spring.
“We are seeing a lot of this disease and it all goes back to spring,” she explained. “What we’re seeing is now are the symptoms of something that occurred very early in the growing season. SDS is caused by a soil-borne fungus that affects those roots in the early vegetative stages, so when we’re planting into cool, wet soils, those wet conditions are great conditions for this fungus to take hold and infect soybeans.”
At Purdue’s Agronomy Day at the ACRE last week she said it’s important to scout the fields and confirm which ones have SDS.
“This is a hard part in the season to know because soybeans are starting to naturally change anyway. You’re going to get those pockets of yellow. You’re going to see some top die-back. So what you want to do is go out to those patches and if you’re seeing this type of symptom go down and split that lower stem open. If you see that grayish, brownish discoloration in the lower stem but the pith remains white or clear, that’s going to be an indication that you have SDS.
Wise says the best way to manage SDS is to plant a soybean variety with better resistance.
“You gotta know what you have first before you can actually select that variety. So, know what fields have the disease. Sit down with your seed dealer and select a variety that has greater resistance the next time the field goes into soybeans.
Wise says none of the available soybean seed treatments have efficacy at controlling the fungus that leads to SDS, but company pipelines might bring forth solutions by 2016. See her SDS demonstration in the HAT video.