The United Soybean Board is funding research to help farmers combat soybean diseases such as sudden death syndrome. Susan Watkins, USB farmer-leader from Virginia, says the research is important for farmers as the disease can severely impact their bottom line.
“Sudden death syndrome or SDS is actually a leading yield limiting disease right now for U.S. farmers. We’ve experienced it on our farm in a limited amount, but it’s still very important for the research to be done, and USB is leading the way on that for the farmers. This disease, it thrives during wet springs and summers, and it enters the soybean plant through the roots and it can happen very early in the season. It hurts the farmers in the pocketbook. Economically, it is a very important disease to be researched to see how we can improve traits and see varieties.”
Watkins says USB has funded multiple projects regarding discovering and evaluating diseases in soybeans, specifically with the sudden death syndrome research at Iowa State University. Watkins discusses the specifics of the study.
“One of the projects they’re funding right now is with the Iowa State University. The professor’s, graduate students there, they have completed some checkoff-funded research to understand when SDS starts and how that timing impacts the plants. And that takes a look at the potential yield loss. Right now, they’re doing research in the field and in the greenhouse.”
She says there are several ways farmers can proactively prevent sudden death syndrome in their fields.
“Farmers can manage sudden death syndrome better by using crop rotation, planting early but in warm, dry soil, this disease does prefer that cool, wet soil. Tilling is an option also to promote early warming of the soils before you plant. Two important things, also, use high quality seed as it germinates and emerges faster than seeds of lesser quality, and plant varieties that has a partial resistance or tolerance to SDS, and that’s something that you need to contact your seed dealer about also, to get more information.”
Keep up with the latest news from the United Soybean Board at unitedsoybean.org and Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. Eastern / 9 a.m. Central on RFD-TV.