Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) is a disease that growers may encounter in soybean fields this summer. It typically appears in the mid- to late-pod-filling stages. SDS is caused by a fungus (Fusarium) in the soil, which is usually brought about by cool, wet weather and/or soil compaction.
SDS can be confused with Brown Stem Rot (BSR) because they have similar foliar symptoms. But, at the end of the day, both can result in damaging yield losses. This is why it’s important to properly diagnose the disease as either SDS or BSR to ensure you’re implementing the correct disease management practices.
According to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the best way to differentiate SDS from BSR is to split the stems and examine the pith for internal browning. If it’s BSR, the pith may have browning; if it’s SDS, the pith will be white. You will also want to study the root of the plant. In SDS, root rot can occur, and the root can also produce blue spores from the fungus.
If SDS is present in your fields this year, there are some strategies you can implement next year to help keep the disease at bay. While you can’t avoid the weather, I recommend avoiding compaction. I also recommend planting a bit later if cool, wet weather is an issue. If your field is prone to water logging, I also recommend installing an effective drainage system. Choosing a variety with SDS tolerance and using seed treatments should also be a priority.
Stine XP Soybean Seed Treatments are ideal for helping combat SDS. The seed treatments offer growing protection from early seedling diseases like SDS that threaten your bottom line. Stine XP treatments protect the soybean seed during its most vulnerable time, encouraging good early vigor and helping ward off the early onset of insects and disease.
To learn more SDS detection and prevention, contact your local Stine sales representative.