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Ilevo Seed Treatment New Tool For Soybean Farmers Battling SDS

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Soybean farmers now have another tool to battle Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS). 

Bayer CropScience is launching Ilevo, a seed treatment that helps nix the fungus that causes SDS. It can complement Bayer’s Poncho/Votivo product that protects against other seedling diseases and soybean cyst nematode (SCN). 

Although SDS surfaces later in the growing season, the fungus that triggers symptoms infects soybeans early in the growing season. That’s where Ilevo comes in, by preventing seedlings from infection in the first place, says Jennifer Riggs, product development manager for Bayer CropScience. 

Yield damage can add up from early-season infections, even if no visible symptoms occur later in the season, says Riggs. 

Early this season, users have noticed a “halo effect” of singed cotyledons of newly emerged soybeans. However, this effect is temporary. So far, university and industry tests show no negative impact from the halo effect. 

Riggs believes 2014 SDS outbreaks revealed more infested fields than was previously thought. “We saw it over a wider geography than we seen it before. It is moving into new geographies.”

Crop rotation works for many crop diseases. Not so for SDS. “Even if you rotate to corn, it lives and flourishes on corn roots and lives in (corn) debris, says Riggs. 

Tolerant varieties to SDS exist, although yield damage still can occur. “There still can be (up to) 30 to 35% yield losses even with tolerant varieties,” says Riggs. 

Once you have it in your fields, it never goes away. That’s why Ilevo has promise in fields plagued by SDS, Riggs adds.  

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