Widespread SDS has many asking, “What do I do?”

In last week’s crop report, we highlighted the fact that SDS has been widespread in Iowa and surrounding states.  One reason we’re seeing widespread SDS this year is because fields have experienced the perfect storm: soils that were compacted last fall due to a late and wet harvest were also wet and cool during the 2010 planting season.  As a result, ideal conditions were created for the soil-borne fungus that causes SDS.

Farmers throughout Latham service areas, including Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Missouri and South Dakota, have been asking repeatedly, “What should I do?”

Although there isn’t anything you can do right now to minimize the severity of damage from SDS this season, there are multiple management practices you can employ to help ensure SDS doesn’t strike again in the future.  Ways to avoid future SDS damage include:

  1. Crop rotation – Make sure you don’t plant beans-on-beans in fields that have been hit with SDS. Note fields where SDS is especially prevalent.  Crop notes will help you plant a soybean brand with high SDS tolerance in those areas the next time you plant soybeans.
  2. Tillage – No-till practices allow soil to remain cooler and wetter longer, which can increase the severity of SDS. Tilling helps change soil conditions to be more adverse to SDS.
  3. Planting Date – Planting at a later date can help reduce the risk of SDS, as well.
  4. And Variety Selection – Variety selection is incredibly important. Choose soybeans brands that have high SDS tolerance. Latham® brands that have done very well in SDS-affected soils include the following:
    1. L2085R
    2. L2767R2
    3. L2987L
    4. L2648R2
    5. L2875R
    6. L3268R2

We will follow up with additional blogs on SDS this week. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about your own fields. Are you seeing SDS in your fields? If so, to what degree?