2016 was a good year to grow soybean varieties with strong genetic resistance to sudden death syndrome (SDS).
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs plant pathologist Albert Tenuta explains that this season’s cool, wet early growing conditions, which then gave way to drought in many regions of Ontario, helped the disease pack a punch in 2016.
Tenuta tests a range of soybean varieties at Ridgetown College to assess genetic resistance to SDS. This year he observed severe SDS symptoms on plants two weeks earlier than usual. The infected plants wilt and die very quickly in July and August. The disease is typically identified by interveinal chlorosis and necrosis of the upper leaves. SDS in soybeans results in average yield loss of about 20% and can reach up to 60%.
In this episode of Real Agriculture’s Soybean School, Tenuta looks at the impact genetics can have in protecting plants against SDS and how a partnership between grower organizations, government, seed companies and researchers is working to keep the disease at bay.
Tenuta notes that the SDS management toolbox is expanding as new seed treatments come to market, but when it comes to disease management, “genetics is our foundation.”
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