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Sponsored: The Best Defense Against SDS – The Soybean Yield Thief

Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) has become a huge threat to farmers as it is one of the top yield-robbing diseases in the Midwest. And in years with weather swings and volatility like in 2016, the yield losses can be devastating. The most unfortunate thing about SDS is that once you have it in your fields, there is no rescue treatment or fungicide to slow its growth or reverse its affects. The best defense against SDS is to protect your crop from the start. And there is no better way to do that than with the use of ILeVO®.

In 2016, heavy, consistent rains prior to and during planting left many fields saturated, resulting in a large number of farmers planting into less than ideal conditions. The most common visual symptoms of SDS, such as the splitting of stems or yellowing of leaves, started to appear around July. Symptoms can be different in each field, and the severity usually depends on the soybean variety planted, the soil type, and the amount of compaction or saturation in that field. Sometimes fields will show visual symptoms with minimal yield loss while in other instances, SDS can completely rob yields in fields where there are no visual symptoms at all.

The threat of SDS is unnerving for many farmers, and as we prepare for a new growing season, it is difficult to predict the weather conditions we might experience at planting. How then, do we move forward and put a management plan in place to proactively prevent SDS in our fields? We could improve drainage to reduce water saturation and compaction. Or we could plant later, as research has proven that later planting dates reduce the chance of SDS infecting soybeans. But farmers continue to plant earlier and earlier, which leaves them looking for another solution.


By adding ILeVO® fungicide to your soybeans, you can protect the seedlings from the soilborne pathogen Fusarium virguliforme, that causes SDS. ILeVO protects soybeans from three major concerns: foliar SDS symptoms, root rot, and soybean cyst nematodes in the root zone. By adding the highest labeled rate of ILeVO to Beck’s standard Escalate™ yield enhancement system, Beck’s created Escalate SDS – an industry-leading seed treatment for preventing SDS.

Escalate SDS provides an additional layer of protection against SDS in soybeans than with ILeVO alone. Escalate SDS protects the root system from SDS fungus in the seed zone and mitigates the above-ground, late season damage caused by the SDS fungus, ultimately producing healthier plants and higher yields. Escalate provides a 6 Bu./A. average yield advantage over untreated seed and the protection of ILeVO adds an additional 2 to 4 Bu./A.

In 2016, Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® team gave Escalate SDS a PFR Proven™ stamp. This means that this product has been tested in PFR and found to provide yield gains and a positive return on investment (ROI) over a minimum of three years. In 2015, Beck’s multi-location PFR study of early-planted soybeans showed an average 2.5 Bu./A. yield advantage from the addition of ILeVO. In 2016, the average yield advantage was 2.3 Bu./A. What’s even more impressive? The three-year, multi-location average return on investment (ROI) with Escalate SDS was $11.42. That’s PER ACRE!


Environments where SDS is a common problem, year in and year out, will likely see the greatest ROI with the use of ILeVO or Escalate SDS. Click the links below to find out how these treatments performed in your area.

The most important thing to remember as you make plans for 2017 is to choose soybean varieties with a genetic resistance to SDS and combine that with Escalate SDS or another seed treatment containing ILeVO. Contact your local Beck’s representative or trusted advisor to learn more.


Beck’s PFR is the largest source of unbiased, cutting-edge agronomic information in the industry. More than 110 different studies were conducted in 2016, comparing over 150 products across multiple locations to learn how different management practices and new technologies perform in field environments. In evaluating agronomic practices and input products, not comparing seed products, Beck’s PFR aims to help farmers maximize their input dollars and increase their bottom line. To view more studies from the 2016 PFR book, click here .

Practical Farm Research (PFR)® is a registered trademark of Beck’s Superior Hybrids Inc. ILeVO® is a registered trademark of Bayer. Individual results may vary.

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