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Science

Field Checkup Series: Evaluate soybean fields for signs of SDS

Farmers can gather field intelligence now to inform and hone product selection and management approaches for next season.

As soybeans enter the mid- to late-season growth stages, farmers may notice yellowing leaves, called leaf chlorosis, which can indicate low fertility, disease, restricted root growth or even nematode feeding.

To determine a cause, evaluate fields for any condition that can jeopardize nutrient uptake by the roots such as soil compaction, water-saturated soils or insect feeding.

Remember, some soybean diseases like sudden death syndrome, soybean stem canker and brown stem rot can also yield foliar symptoms that resemble nutrient deficiency symptoms.

Throughout the growing season, soybean plants acquire nutrients from the soil and through nitrogen fixation in the root nodules. Pod fill is a period of high nutrient demand, and if the soybean plant cannot absorb needed nourishment to support seed development the plant will remobilize nutrients from the stems and leaves. As nutrients are reallocated away from the leaves they tend to yellow, which is an indication of nutrient deficiency.

Channel Seedsmen conduct field evaluations to help farmers determine what conditions may be causing soybean leaf chlorosis. They assess the agronomic needs on farmers’ fields to help plan a fertility program for the next season’s crop and recommend seed products that are an ideal match for the anticipated growing environment.

As the end of July approaches in Indiana, farmers should evaluate soybean fields for signs of SDS. This spring’s cool, wet weather and early planting provided prime conditions for SDS.

With a record number of soybeans planted early in the month of April, there are indications that SDS will be prevalent once again in Indiana. Unfortunately, SDS is a fungal root rot, so it cannot be treated with a foliar fungicide in season.

However, if detected, your local seedsman will likely suggest crop rotation, residue management and tolerant variety selection to help combat the issue in subsequent seasons.

The next few weeks of observations and notes from Seedsmen can help provide a picture of fall yield potential and set the stage for next season’s product selection. Visit channel.com to learn more about the Channel Field Check Up Series and to access more agronomy tips and insights.

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