Protecting Soybeans from Disease

By Keith Robinson​ - Published May 18, 2015

Kiersten Wise explains research into soybean sudden death syndrome.
wise groupThe interveinal yellowing and browning on the upper trifoliates, shown in this field of soybean plants, is a characteristic symptom of sudden death syndrome. (Photo by Kiersten Wise)

Researchers from around the Midwest and Canada are studying soybean sudden death syndrome to help farmers better protect their crop from the recurring disease.

Most Indiana soybean fields had some level of the disease last year, the most severe incidence of the disease since 2010, noted Kiersten Wise, an associate professor of plant pathology.

wiseThis individual soybean plant shows the characteristic symptom of sudden death syndrome, the interveinal yellowing and browning on the upper trifoliates. (Photo by Kiersten Wise)

"We wanted to look at how a combination of various production practices affected SDS to determine a better management strategy," she said. Those practices include early to late planting, use of varieties resistant to both SDS and soybean cyst nematode, and fungicide seed treatments. They also examined how weed killer glyphosate and pre-emergence herbicides affected SDS severity.

Last year, Wise conducted field trials at the Pinney Purdue Agricultural Center in northwest Indiana. The study included the additional option of seeds treated with a new chemical, fluopyram, designed to protect the root system against the SDS fungus in the seed zone.

"We're still learning about new ways to manage SDS," Wise said. "There will be more questions to answer this year and beyond."​​​​​​

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Purdue researcher in project to lessen impact of soybean plant disease