Growing conditions in the upper Midwest were ideal this year for Sudden Death Syndrome in soybeans. The cause of the disease is a soil fungus that infects the roots of the soybean plant early in development then later in the growing season kills the plant during pod set and pod filling.
"Sudden death syndrome is usually most prevalent when we get really wet conditions early and we had really wet conditions early," said John Soper, vice president of crop genetics research and development at Pioneer.
Alison Robertson, assistant professor of plant pathology at Iowa State University said this was the worst year for SDS in the state since 2008. Robertson said it was hard to drive anywhere in the state without seeing a field with SDS. Nearly every field in the northeast region of the state had some level of SDS infection.
"This year's yield losses to SDS are expected to exceed 20 percent in some fields," said David Wright, Iowa Soybean Association's director of contract research.