Sudden Death Syndrome is a soybean disease that has been seen in many soybean fields this year. It seems much more widespread than in previous years. The fungus enters the soybean roots early in the growing season. Then late July and into August you begin to see premature yellowing of the leaves and the soybean plant dies fairly quickly. Typically you see it more in wet and compacted areas of the soybean field. I saw it for the first time this year in one of my soybean fields.

Some soybean varieties have better tolerance to Sudden Death Syndrome so seed selection is important if there is a history of Sudden Death Syndrome in a field. There is also a seed treatment that seems to help. Plant Pathologists at Southern Illinois University have discovered a promising new way to control Sudden Death Syndrome, biological control agents (BCA) or specifically beneficial fungi.

Researchers found that  a fungus from the "genera Trichoderma" that shows the most promise. That term means nothing to me as I am a farmer, not a scientist. What it does mean is that in the future some sort of BCA may prove to be a treatment for Sudden Death Syndrome in my bean field! If the treatment is a natural occurring fungus you would think it would be very safe and environmentally friendly too!

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