One thing we have learned from outbreaks of sudden death syndrome (SDS) in years past is that this disease likes it wet. Last year we wrote about the risk of SDS increasing with the early season rain. But at the end of the article we threw in one caveat – soybeans were planted very late in the season, which reduced the risk of SDS developing. And after we published the article, the rains essentially stopped. Fast forward to the end of the 2013 season -- we still had some SDS in parts of Iowa in 2013, but it was not as nearly as bad as it could have been.
Soybean diseases are starting to show up in Iowa fields this growing season. In an On-Farm Network trial in north central Iowa, brown stem rot (BSR) was recently found. This disease is caused by the fungus Phialophora gregata, and infection can result in yield loss for Iowa farmers.