Research Projects

Since being brought to market in 1974, glyphosate has become the most widely used herbicide in the U.S. From less than 44 million pounds used annually in agriculture in 1995 in the U.S., to over 253 million pounds in 2015, the herbicide has become a heavily relied on weed management tool. This can be explained through the advent of glyphosate-resistant row crops, which allowed growers to commit to using the herbicide on weeds without causing any damage to plants. The conventional usage of glyphosate has resulted in numerous incidences of weed resistance to the herbicide over the last decade.

Soybean (Glycine max) is one of the most important crops in the United States. One production constraint includes the five diseases caused by species of Diaporthe, which can greatly affect yields. During 2014, approximately 1 million metric tons were lost in the U.S. and Canada from Diaporthe-associated diseases.

Sudden death syndrome (SDS) affects soybeans around the world and accounts for millions of tons of yield loss in the United States and Canada, ranking it as one of the top 10 yield-reducing diseases of soybean for 16 years. Managing SDS has been difficult with the lack of effective foliar fungicides and completely resistant cultivars, environmental influences and inconsistent management practices.

Soybean cyst nematode (H. glycines) is the most damaging pathogen of soybean in the United States and Canada. The main management strategy has been to rotate soybean crops with non host crops. However, this strategy has not proved always effective, leaving the need for more study and application of nematode-protectant seed treatments.

Researchers concluded that corn growers struggle with “balancing the conflicting roles of environmental stewardship and successful businessperson. In reality, short-term profit-making trumps the environmental stewardship role.”

A research study published in the American Phytopathological Society (APS) Plant Disease journal examined the effects of cropping system diversification on management of soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS), caused by Fusarium virguliforme, that provides some insight into preventing the disease for growers. SDS is a major disease that impacts North and South America.