Thanks for tuning in to our weekly “Ask the Agronomist” Audiocast! Play the audio file below to listen to Mark’s response to this week’s question about choosing seed with the right treatments for your fields.

Q: My soybean plants are the tallest I’ve ever seen them! Should I be concerned that all of the energy is going into stems and leaves rather than into pods?

A: This is what makes soybeans such an interesting crop!  With the weather we’ve had this growing season, it does not surprise me that plant height is taller than normal. Vegetative growth can occur through the R5 stage if moisture, temperature and nutrients are readily available. R5 is the “beginning seed” stage when seeds start to develop on one of the 4 top nodes of the plant.  We’ve even had a few varieties over the years that shot extra pods out the top of the plant after R5.

This season I believe disease will have more impact on soybean yields than anything else.

Q: We’ve talked in recent weeks about how Sudden Death Syndrome and Brown Stem Rot are a factor this season. Now farmers are starting to see White Mold in their soybean fields. What can be done?

A: Cool, wet conditions this spring followed by saturated soils and high humidity this summer have been favorable for development of many diseases in both corn and soybeans.  White Mold usually shows up when we have a closed soybean canopy that traps excess moisture.  If farmers are proactive and can catch the disease in the early stages, there are some foliar fungicides that can help reduce the severity of the disease.  However, each product has different application rates and timing so contact your local chemical retailer to see what they have available to fight White Mold.  Again, the key is to scout your fields and catch the disease early.

Q: So farmers need to scout their fields…  We’ve heard this before and it seems like good advice.  Anything else they can do to prevent outbreaks in the future?

A: For future crops, seed selection is key to reducing risk and minimizing damage. If you notice problem areas, your Latham® rep can help you select varieties with the highest level of disease resistance. Also ask about ILeVO, the latest seed treatment to protect seedlings against SDS and soybean cyst nematode. In fact, you can learn more about ILeVO at Latham Seeds’ field day on Aug. 31.

Q: What is ILeVO?

A: ILeVO seed treatment from Bayer CropScience has received lots of positive press for its effectiveness against Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS). In recent years, fields stricken with the SDS disease have lost so much yield that some researchers are calling it the #2 pest affecting U.S. soybeans. It’s second only to Soybean Cyst Nematodes (SCN).  Interestingly enough, some of Bayer’s studies have shown that ILeVO may also have some effect on SCN as well as SDS. We’re researching ILeVO this season in our proprietary Latham SuperStrip research plots and you can be sure we’ll let you know if there is a correlation in our tests.

Q: Is ILeVO a new seed treatment that Latham Seeds is testing this season. What other seed treatments are available for 2017?

A: As an independent, family-owned seed company, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds is all about options! New for 2017, we now have 5 different formulations available of our trademark SoyShield seed treatment:

  1. SoyShieldTM
  2. SoyShield Plus
  3. SoyShield with IleVO
  4. SoyShield Plus with ILeVO
  5. And our brand new SoyShield Select

Q: What is SoyShield Select?

A: SoyShield Select is Latham Seeds’ new seed treatment offering that contains a different fungicide and insecticide formulation that is more value-priced.  To qualify, customers must order a minimum of 250 units or increase their order by 100 units over 2016 purchases and these orders must be postmarked or received by August 25, 2016, to receive an additional $4/unit discount. Orders of SoyShield Select received between August 26 and October 15 will receive an additional $2/unit discount.

Q: What else would you like to add?

A: Learn more about Seed Treatments, New Corn and Soybean Technologies and Corn Hybrid Stress Research at Latham’s home farm on Wednesday, Aug. 31. We’ll be giving tours of our research plots, and farmer Phil Pitzenberger will demonstrate how Drone Technology is improving operations on his family farm. Visit for more details!