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Bayer CropScience SDS Seed Treatment Slated for 2015


Vibrant green mid-summer
soybeans are every soybean farmer’s dream.

Yet, sudden death syndrome
(SDS) — a silent stalker — can turn this dream into a nightmare. This fungal
disease can slice yields 20% to 30% right off the top. In some cases, SDS can
slice yields 70%.

“SDS costs U.S. farmers 42
million bushels of soybeans annually,” says Dave Byrum, Bayer CropScience
SeedGrowth senior product manager. At $13 per bushel, that’s $54.6 million.

Bayer Crop Science is
unveiling a product during this week’s Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas,
to help farmers manage this disease. It’s a seed treatment called Ilevo that
targets SDS. Pending regulatory approval, it’s slated for market in 2015.

What SDS Looks Like

Visual symptoms of SDS rarely
occur before mid-July. They include:

·      Rotted plants that are pull easily from soil.

·      Bluish fungal growth that may appear on the soybean

·      Gray to reddish-brown internal tissue of the main or taproot.

·      Bright yellow areas between leaf veins that eventually
turn brown and then leave large holes in leaves.

·      Falling leaf blades.

These symptoms are rooted in
an early-season infection. Fusarium
infects roots and crowns on young soybean plants as early as
the seedling stage. Cool wet weather and soil compaction favors infections.
Heavy rainfall during reproductive stages further heightens infection

Ilevo will help protect
soybean seedlings from this early-season infection. Its systemic active
ingredient moves from the seed into the stem and root tissue of soybean
seedlings. Ilevo will be able to be used with Bayer’s Poncho/Votivo seed
treatment combo or other seed treatments, say Bayer officials.

Ilevo won’t curb SDS all on
its own. Instead, it’s a part of an Integrated Pest Management strategy that also
includes planting SDS-tolerant soybean varieties.

One former cultural practice
it will be able to replace is later soybean planting.

“Farmers will be able to plant
at normal times,” says Jennifer Riggs, Bayer SeedGrowth product manager. Although
later planting enables farmers to dodge SDS, it cuts yield potential right off
the bat. That’s especially damaging to yields if SDS does not occur. 

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