Once you have it, you have it! Because sudden death syndrome (SDS) is caused by a soil-borne fungus, there’s no getting rid of it. Farmers must manage it to protect yield. Keep in mind that SDS was widespread in 2016, and many of those acres will be planted once again to soybeans in 2018.
The most promising tactic for SDS management is ILeVO® seed treatment. Numerous university trials have shown ILeVO effectively reduces SDS severity and protects yield. In addition, Latham’s own research confirms the findings.
With the help of many of Latham® soybean SuperStrip cooperators, our first company-wide trial using ILeVO was held in 2016. That year SDS was widespread, so many farmers across Latham Country lost significant yield to the disease. Our 26 plots showed an average yield benefit of about 3.5 bushels per acre.
This past growing season, however, SDS was not nearly as severe. Certain counties in Central and Eastern Iowa were impacted greatly by the disease but, in general, it was a season where SDS showed up late and didn’t cause as much lost yield.
We doubled the number of side-by-side plots from 2016 to 2017, and we added a few more varieties to the test. Results varied quite a bit by location due to disease severity and the soybean that was used in the study.
Following are a few observations based on the data gathered in 2017:
- The highest yield benefit was seen in a plot in Hancock County, Iowa, where L 1858 R2 was the soybean treated and came in at 8.27 bushels per acre benefit.
- Although SDS severity was down from 2016, we saw some significant differences in response between soybean varieties. Products like L 1858 R2 and L 2558 L, which are not known for their SDS tolerance, showed the most benefit from the ILeVO.
- In 2016, we saw a few plots where the ILeVO seed treatment showed a negative response. Statistically, this is not unusual nor unexpected. We saw this again in 2017 but not to the magnitude observed in 2016. Both L 2084 R2 and L 1787 L averaged a negative response (-0.9 and -0.6 respectively).
- Across the 51 plots, we saw about a ½ bushel per acre yield benefit for applying ILeVO seed treatment.
We plan to conduct another ILeVO trial in 2018. Feel free to contact me or your Latham RSM if you’re interested in being an ILeVO plot cooperator.