Variety Selection is Key to Tackling Iron Deficiency Chlorosis

Matt Moore

Matt Moore, Soybean Product Manager

Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (IDC) was very prevalent through much of Latham Country throughout the 2022 growing season. This physiological disorder is caused by, like the name suggests, an iron deficiency in the plant. Rather than a lack of iron in the soil, IDC gets its name because of soybean plants’ inability to absorb the iron.

Common variables in fields with IDC include high soil pH (typically above 7.3), high clay content soils, saturated or poorly drained soils, high calcium carbonates and high soluble salts (confirmed in a soil test) and residual nitrates from previous crops.

I believe residual soil nitrates played a large role in the prevalence of IDC this growing season. Drought conditions much of our area faced in 2021 didn’t allow the corn crop on these acres to effectively use the nitrogen applied to it. In turn, that nitrogen was still in the soil. That interfered with the soybean plant’s ability to effectively take up the iron it needs in 2022.

Far and away, the best management practice for managing IDC is to plant a variety with a high level of tolerance to it. That’s why Latham® soybean varieties undergo intense screening for this issue, primarily through our Elite Trial research program that encompasses our entire trade area. We give each variety a rating based on what we see in these trials before it is brought into our lineup. Then we confirm those scores in our Showcase Plots and commercial field observations throughout the growing season.

To help farmers better identify those soybeans that have high tolerance to IDC, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds has designed a lineup of soybeans as IRONCLAD®. Only a soybean brand that is Soybean Cyst Nematode-resistant with an IDC rating of 2.2 or better can earn the IRONCLAD designation. Depending on your specific needs, IRONCLAD brands must also protect against either White Mold or Sudden Death Syndrome with a rating of 2.2 or higher. Furthermore, these products must have strong defensive ratings against Phytophthora Root Rot and Brown Stem Rot.

IRONCLAD soybeans have been especially developed to withstand the high pH, high salt soils in our sales area. Be assured these Latham brand soybeans have undergone thorough testing and are the best possible choices for fields with a history of severe IDC. Protect yield with Latham brand soybean brands proven to have good IDC tolerance. You can learn about the IDC ratings for all Latham brand soybean varieties in our 2023 product guide or by visiting with your Latham Seeds regional sales manager (RSM).
Ironclad Snip 2022