Watch for Sudden Death Syndrome in your Fields

August 28, 2015
Author Craig Langemeier

Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) is a fungal disease that affects soybeans.  Several fields in Southeast Nebraska, Northeast Kansas, Northwest Missouri, and Iowa are showing signs of SDS.  SDS was first reported in Arkansas in 1971.  It can now be found in almost all soybeans growing areas in the U.S. 

SDS is a soil-borne pathogen that infects soybean seedlings when they are emerging.  Producers won’t typically see any symptoms until late July into early August.  Early symptoms include interveinal chlorosis and necrosis.

Photo 1:  interveinal chlorosis and necrosis

The disease will eventually lead to plant death which is the main cause of yield loss.  In most cases, the leaflets will drop off, but the petioles will stay attached.  In fields where there is adequate moisture there will also be small patches of blue fungal spores around the soil line.

There are a few different ways to manage for SDS. 

  • The first way to help manage for SDS is to plant later.  The disease typically infects in cool, wet soils more typically associated with planting early so pushing the planting date back is one management tool. 
  • Tillage is another tool that can be used to help reduce SDS.  Compacted soils will slow water infiltration and cause soil saturation which will increase SDS incidence. 
  • Planting resistant varieties is a third management strategy to reduce SDS.  Varieties vary greatly in the tolerance to SDS and a good resistant variety is a good way to ensure SDS doesn’t rob too much yield.


New for the 2016 growing season Hoegemeyer will be selling a seed treatment that is specific to SDS.  The product called ILeVO will be a seed applied fungicide that specifically targets SDS.  The product has shown very good results the last two years and looks promising again this year.  This is a side-by-side of the same variety where the left was untreated and the right was treated with ILeVO.

Talk to your local Hogemeyer DSM or Agronomist if you have any questions about SDS and plan to use ILeVO to boost your yields in fields where SDS is a problem.    

Categories: Craig Langemeier, Disease, Soybeans     Tags: Craig Langemeier, SDS, Soybean Disease, Sudden Death Syndrome    

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