Your Checklist for Managing Sudden Death Syndrome

Sudden Death Syndrome is one of the top yield-robbing soybean diseases. Blake Miller, an agronomic service representative with Syngenta, says growers need to be planning ahead now for SDS to get off on the right foot.
“The challenging piece of it is the infection occurs to the roots after planting, when roots start to develop, and then they really don’t know that the infection is in the plants till late in the growing season when pod fill’s already started to occur, so they have to have a preemptive plan, if you will, on SDS in order to manage it.”
Miller says planning ahead to protect your soybeans starts with looking back.
“What were my fields like the last time they were in a soybean rotation? Did I have SDS in those fields? And then, if I did, then I start to frame up that plan around variety selection. It’s absolutely critical. The varieties themselves need to have an internal defense if you will against SDS. They need to be a good Soybean Cyst Nematode bean. Having cyst and SDS, the cyst nematodes exacerbate the expression of the SDS, or infection rather. Those are really the keys. So, understanding what the pressure of Sudden Death Syndrome was like in my field, and then choosing genetics, and then, finally marrying the genetic defense with a seedcare product like our Saltro® fungicide.”
Miller talks about his recommended soybean seed treatments for growers to use in 2023.
“I recommend our Saltro fungicide. Not only for SDS protection but also for Soybean Cyst Nematode protection because those two work in conjunction if you will. The soybean cyst nematode actually opens up an area in the root where the Fusarium Virguliforme, the causal agent, can infect the plant, so it’s really critical to use those in combination. I think of it in weed control, if one site of action to control waterhemp is good, but two sides of action are better. And we get into this situation once in a while where soybean technology has been changing so fast with traits, and the Enlist® traits, the XtendFlex® traits, that the soybeans are being advanced maybe at the detriment to what their defense mechanisms are if you will. So, maybe they don’t have the best SDS scores, and then a grower will use a fungicide and expect immunity, and a lot of times that won’t happen. You need both of them working together to control the pathogen the best you can and protect the most yield from that standpoint.”
Another factor to consider is the timing of soybean planting every year.
“Soybeans are being planted earlier than ever, especially in the Midwest. I’m in Central Illinois and in that environment in itself, cold wet soils follow suit with infection rates of the Fusarium to the soybean. So, in order to keep planting earlier, which is driving up yields, you need to protect with something like Saltro fungicide as well.”
To learn more about Saltro, connect with your local reseller or Syngenta sales representative. Visit to learn more about upgraded SDS protection. Always read and follow label instructions.

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