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WHEN IT COMES TO SOYBEAN THREATS,
THE BEST DEFENSE IS A GOOD OFFENSE.
Primary methods of controlling soybean threats in fields
used to be fairly straight forward. Start with the most
resistant variety available, and then apply your fungicides
and insecticides in a timely manner. Rotating with corn or
other non-host crops was always an added management
practice many farmers considered. However, there
is a trifecta of threats to soybean crops that are increasing
in severity and causing drastic economic losses in fields
throughout the Midwest.

Sudden Death Syndrome

Sudden death syndrome (SDS) occurs when the plant is
infected by the fungal pathogen Fusarium virguliforme.
Though symptoms of SDS typically do not appear until
later in the growing season, the initial infection occurs
only in the growing season.

“Nematodes, white mold, and sudden death syndrome
(SDS) are three of the biggest yield-robbers in
soybeans,”says Jim Schwartz, director of Practical Farm
Research and Agronomy at Beck’s. “Depending on
conditions this summer, it’s possible farmers will see
an increase in these three threats. Not only are they
destructive when they hit, but once present in a field,
they’ve proven to be difficult to manage and control.”

Often influenced by weather, SDS is most severe when
soybeans are planted early into cool, wet soils that are
heavily compacted and poorly drained. Initial symptoms
include leaf yellowing and loss of the upper leaves. As
it progresses, tissue between the veins will begin to
yellow, and eventually the leaf will die while the petiole
will remain attached. And here’s the challenge. These
symptoms can appear similiar to the symptoms caused
by brown stem rot, which makes it increasingly difficult to
diagnose. There are no corrective actions that control
SDS after the infection has occurred.

Nematodes

White Mold

Nematodes are silent killers as the damage they cause
is a result of feeding on roots, which can impact plant
growth. The bigger issue with this pesky parasite is
that their devastation typically occurs below-ground,
invisible to the human eye.
Even if above-ground symptoms do occur because
of significant infestation, they can often be confused
with other problems such as drought stress or nutrient
deficiencies.
Each year, nematodes are responsible for more than $3
billion in losses, with soybean cyst nematodes (SCN)
being the most menacing of all. With the potential to
cut yields by as much as 30 percent or more, SCN can
cause stunting, early death, reduced nodulation, and
can serve as an entry point for other diseases.

White mold (Sclerotinia stem rot) is influenced by
weather and thrives in cool, wet conditions and can
drastically diminish soybean yields. In the presence of
white mold, farmers are often faced with making tough
management decisions that leave them choosing
between what is best for disease management and
what is best for maximum yield potential.

Management Solutions

The most important thing farmers can do when looking
to control this trifecta of destruction is to be proactive.
Always select the highest performing genetically
suited soybean variety for your geography. Stay ahead
of these threats and work to control them early by
utilizing a comprehensive seed treatment to diminish
the potential for yield loss. Beck’s now provides farmers
with the option to add a broad spectrum nematicide,
Nemasect™, as well as modes of action to control SDS
and white mold in their fields.
“Over two-year field trials, Nemasect, along with the
active ingredients to suppress white mold and SDS
have a 2.9 Bu./A. yield advantage when compared
to a standard fungicide and insecticide treatment,”
says Schwartz. “Escalate, Nemasect, and SDS+ work

Includes 8 different modes of
action to control or suppress 7
diseases, 5 soil-dwelling insects,
and 3 of the most common
nematode species.

White mold symptoms first occur during the early
reproductive stages and is typically most prominent
in products selected for high-yielding environments.
Infected fields will see a reduced seed number and
weight and also a negative impact on their seed quality
and reduced germination. Similar to nematodes and
SDS, once white mold symptoms are identified, it’s too
late. The damage has been done.
Escalate® and Nemasect™ are trademarks of Beck’s Superior Hybrids, Inc.

together to drive performance. The combination of a
hard chemistry, a bio-fungicide, and a bio-stimulant
provide effective nematode protection while also
controlling SDS and providing suppression of white
mold. It really is a complete seed treatment package.”
Beck’s base seed treatment, Escalate®, comes standard
on every bag of soybeans at no charge. But because each
farm is different and every year is unique, farmers now
have the choice to two additional treatment packages
so they can select the level of protection that’s right
for their operation. To learn more visit BecksHybrids.
com/Products/Seed-Treatments/Soybeans

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