Seed Selection is Key to Avoiding Sudden Death

Photo courtesy of Purdue University Extension

Photo courtesy of Purdue University Extension

The effects of our wet, cold planting season continue to surface. As one drives the back roads now, you’ll see where Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) is affecting many soybean fields across Latham country.

Although SDS infects soybean plants right after germination and emergence, symptoms generally do not appear until mid- to late summer. Leaf symptoms first appear as yellow spots between leaf veins. Eventually, the leaves turn yellow and brown streaks develop between the leaf veins while the veins remain green. Leaflets eventually drop but the petioles remain on the stem. Diseased plants may have rotted root systems.

Understanding the extent of SDS infection in each field is key to effectively managing the disease. Future management tactics include: reducing soil compaction; planting fields with a history of SDS towards the end of a planting schedule when soils may be warmer and drier; and testing for the presence of Soybean Cyst Nematodes.

Dont-Feed-the-NematodesSoybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) is usually associated with SDS. You may see more severe cases of SDS in soybean varieties that are SCN-susceptible. When selecting soybean seed, it’s best to read through the SDS score rather than judge a bean solely by SCN tolerance.

Planting tolerant varieties, or avoiding very susceptible varieties, is the most effective way to reduce losses from SDS. Keeping good field records from year-to-year will help determine which characteristics are most crucial when selecting soybean varieties to plant in a given field in a given year.

To help simplify your seed selection process, we’ve made a list of Latham® brand soybeans with Excellent and Good Tolerance to SDS. Our website includes more information about each product. Also feel free to contact your local Latham representative or call 1-877-GO-LATHAM (1.877.465.2842) for additional information.

Latham® Soybeans with Excellent SDS Tolerance (1.6 – 1.9 ratings): 



Latham® Soybeans with Very Good SDS Tolerance (2.0 – 2.2 ratings):