EPA has approved an application for the registration of ILeVO, a seed treatment from Bayer CropScience that protects the root system of soybeans against infections caused by Sudden Death Syndrome and has activity against nematodes in the seed zone.
SDS is a disease that was discovered in Arkansas in the 1970s. It has been a sometime problem in soybeans but was reported to be more widespread in the Mid-South and Midwest states due to changing weather patterns over the last two or three years. Until now, there was no chemical control for SDS.
“Our field trials have shown that soybean seeds treated with ILeVO early in the season give valuable yield benefit across geographies and seed varieties,” said Jennifer Biggs, Bayer SeedGrowth product development manager. “Bayer CropScience is very excited to bring the first seed treatment fungicide/nematicide solution for SDS and nematodes to the market.”
During research and field trials from 2011 to 2014, ILeVO was used on 181 fields with visual symptoms of SDS. In those trials, yield benefits ranged from four to 10 bushels per acre over untreated seeds with visual SDS symptoms.
“Even when visual symptoms are not present, the results estimated growers could see an average yield increase of two bushels per acre when using ILeVO as part of an early season management approach,” a Bayer CropScience spokesman said.
From its discovery in Arkansas, SDS has now spread to almost every soybean-producing state. According to the United Soybean Board, average losses from SDS were estimated at 42 million bushels a year from 2009 to 2011.
Soybean specialists say the impact on yield depends on the growth stage at the onset of symptoms as yield losses are greater when symptoms develop in early reproductive stages. By protecting the root system early in the growth stages, specifically the seed zone, against the SDS fungus and nematodes, ILeVO allows the plant to be healthier from the start.
Previously, growers had limited options when it came to SDS management: tolerant varieties and delayed planting dates. The latter do not fit with the early soybean planting programs growers have embraced in their search for higher soybean yields.
Producers should focus on an integrated approach to SDS management, says Darren Mueller, an assistant professor and plant pathologist at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
“While we do have some levels of resistance to the disease in many of the soybean maturity groups, there are no soybeans that are completely immune to SDS,” he said. “Having an integrated management approach with the addition of products such as ILeVO would provide a sound set of tools for growers to protect their crops when resistance may not be enough.”
Under the registration granted by EPA, ILeVO will be available for the 2015 growing season. In some situations, specialists will recommend the use of ILeVO and Poncho/VOTIVO seed treatments to provide three modes of action against early season fungus, insects and nematodes.
For more information, visit http://connect.bayercropscience.us.