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Keep sudden death, cyst nematodes in check

John Obermeyer, Purdue University Extension Entomology nematode cysts on soybean roots
SOYBEAN THREAT: Note the lemon-shaped bodies on these mature soybean roots. Those aren’t nitrogen nodules; they are cyst sacks full of nematode eggs. CCAs say seed treatments can help limit nematodes.
Soybean Pest Beat: Here is a closer look at which seed treatments for SDS and SCN might offer the best return on investment.

This isn’t the year to spend more money, but I have problems with sudden death syndrome and cyst nematodes. Are there seed treatments I can try? How do I determine if I could make money applying them?

The Indiana certified crop advisers panel this month includes: Gene Flaningam, Flaningam Ag Consulting LLC, Vincennes; Greg Kneubuhler, G&K Concepts, Harlan; and Tom Stein, Ceres Solutions Cooperatives, manager of the Templeton and Boswell branches.

Flaningam: Soybean cyst nematodes and SDS are some of the biggest yield limitations for soybean production. ILeVO seed treatment is your best option for control or reduction of these two pests. The cost of ILeVO ranges from $10 to $15 per seed unit. If your farm has a history of cyst nematodes or SDS, then consider adding this product to your soybean seed treatment program. Cyst nematode can be screened by a simple soil test. Odds for seeing SDS can be based on field and variety history.

Kneubuhler: Sudden death syndrome and soybean cyst nematodes are hidden losses that most of us don’t realize occur from year to year. They’re difficult to anticipate, and when found, it’s too late to do anything about them. There are seed treatment options for SDS and SCN which have had very successful response in the presence of both conditions.

Cost of using an SDS and SCN treatment tends to be an additional $9 to $12 per unit on top of normal treatments. If you have known SDS and/or cyst issues, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a 3- to 5-bushel-per-acre response or more. If you suspect or know you’ve had presence of SDS and SCN in the past, I would highly favor trying the treatments. At a minimum, consider splitting a few farms and trying seed treatment for comparison sake.

Stein: Seed treatments such as Poncho/VOTiVO and Clariva are very effective and a good option to help control cyst nematodes in soybeans. ILeVO at the 1.18-ounce rate per 140,000 seeds is probably the most effective seed treatment available today to control sudden death syndrome. ILeVO also has activity on soybean cyst nematodes.

Field trials have shown fairly consistent results of approximately a 2-bushel-per-acre increase where ILeVO has been used as a seed treatment in fields without a history of SDS, and a 4- to 10-bushel-per-acre increase where SDS has been an issue in previous years.

If you have had problems with both soybean cyst nematodes and SDS, I would suggest using Poncho/VOTiVO in conjunction with ILeVO. The VOTiVO repels the cyst nematode from the soybean roots by providing a living barrier of protection, while ILeVO quickly kills nematodes in the seed zone and will protect the soybean root system against early-season infection by the SDS fungus. That combination seed treatment will cost about $25 per acre, and would take about a 2.5-bushel-per-acre increase to pay off.

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