New Soybean Seed Treatment Takes Aim at SDS and SCN


Soybean growers have a new tool in their fight to manage the impact of sudden death syndrome (SDS) and soybean cyst nematode (SCN).

Earlier this month, Bayer CropScience received registration for Ilevo/Votivo, a new soybean seed treatment. At its recent Dead Weeds Tour, Bayer’s D&L Manager Luc Bourgeois told growers it will be the first and only seed treatment product on the Canadian market to control SDS, and it also provides suppression of SCN. Ilevo controls the SDS-causing fungus, fusarium virguliforme. Votivo, a biologic product, creates a natural living barrier that grows with the roots to provide suppression against multiple generations and species of nematodes.

Both SDS and SCN continue to spread throughout the province, says Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs plant pathologist Albert Tenuta. Both have traditionally been based in the southwest area of the province, but reports of their spread north and eastward are growing every year.

“SDS symptoms most often occur in fields where we also have soybean cyst nematode so SDS and SCN go hand in hand, and these two together can have a substantial impact on growers, their yields and the health of their fields,” says Tenuta. SDS damage results in average yield loss of about 20% and can reach up to 60%. SCN causes root damage, making the plant more vulnerable to root diseases such as SDS.

Tenuta has been conducting trials on the new seed treatment for the past five years. He says as growers continue to plant soybeans earlier to maximize soybean yield potential, they increase exposure to cooler, wetter early season conditions. “These are the ideal conditions for SDS to impact the plant,” explains Tenuta who notes that SDS typically infects plants during the first two to three weeks of development.

Soybean - Ilevo Halo Effect
Ilevo/Votivo creates a halo effect in soybean seedlings – yellowing and necrosis around the margin of the cotyledon. But Albert Tenuta says it does not impact on the cotyledon itself or impact the plant.

“With seed treatments such as Ilevo, we’ve noticed a drastic reduction in the amount of SDS infection. If you can reduce that early infection, that ultimately reduces the amount of development through the season and reduces the impact later on,” says Tenuta. “So we have a seed treatment that can reduce not only initial colonization, but also the back end of the disease as well.”

With Ilevo/Votivo, late season symptoms can be delayed up to three weeks, allowing the plant to produce maximum grain fill, notes Tenuta.

Growers using the new seed treatment will need to be aware of the product’s ‘halo’ effect.

“Regardless of the year, you will see some halo effect – yellowing and necrosis around the margin of the cotyledon,” explains Tenuta. “Some years you may see it more. Other years you may see less of it. It’s something growers will need to get associated with and expect.”

“Our experience over the past five years is that it’s temporary, it does not impact on the cotyledon itself or impact the plant,” says Tenuta.

Bourgon says the new seed treatment will be available for the 2017 planting season.

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