The right variety choices to the acre
We hear a lot of talk in soybean production about how to “break the yield barrier” – a perception that many growers feel they’ve maxed out their yield potential and need new tools and technology to take yields to a new level. One key way to maximize yield potential is to plant the right soybean varieties on the right acres to help manage disease and pest pressures.
“It’s important to understand all of the factors that can influence a grower’s yields,” says BASF Seed Agronomist Nick Weidenbenner. “One important factor is placing the right variety to the acre. Credenz® soybeans are designed to deliver the most advanced soybean variety choices to fit each grower’s production preferences, field conditions, and disease and pest challenges.”
Choosing a Credenz variety allows growers to select and manage precise varieties for their farm. Plus, they get the added benefit of expert agronomic advice and a comprehensive, proven portfolio of crop protection products from BASF.
“Our team of seed advisors, business representatives and agronomic services professionals walks each farmer through the variety evaluation and selection process to tailor fit these varieties to their fields,” says Weidenbenner. “There are a lot of ‘yield robbers’ out there – so we want our growers to have the right defensive package that can both protect against yield robbers and offer high yield potential. Then we partner with them to make the right agronomic decisions for them throughout the growing season.”
One of those common ‘yield robbers’ Credenz can help protect against is sudden death syndrome (SDS). Caused by the plant patholgen Fusarium virguliforme, SDS is a severe, yield-robbing disease found in soybean fields throughout the Midwest. It can result in staggering yield losses of up to 80% annually in infected fields. It’s a sneaky, insidious disease that infects soybean plants early in the season – but because it is soilborne, foliar symptoms of SDS don’t develop until July or August. Foliar symptoms begin as scattered, yellow spots between the veins of soybean leaves. These spots expand into lesions, and leaves can curl or cup. Eventually, defoliation occurs as the disease progresses.
By the time you see these foliar symptoms, it’s not a question of whether yield loss is imminent, it’s a question of how much yield has been lost. “SDS is commonly known as the ‘good farmer disease,’” says Weidenbenner. “Even in a year when growing conditions seem good and everything is going right, you can still get SDS symptoms showing in your fields late in the growing season.” The key for effective SDS control is understanding when and how the disease infects plants and where it is most likely to occur, according to Weidenbenner.
“SDS is more common in cool, wet soils,” he explains. “It will infect the root system of the soybean plant within 72 hours after planting. And once it has appeared in your fields and is confirmed, it’s difficult to break the disease cycle. Even crop rotation isn’t an effective control for this disease. So for farmers who have identified the disease in their fields, it’s vitally important to identify tolerant soybean varieties that can help reduce that yield loss.”
BASF offers a variety of technologies that have proven effective in controlling SDS and reducing yield loss where the disease is present. Several Credenz soybean varieties are tolerant to SDS. Combining these varieties with ILeVO® seed treatment has proven to perform well against the disease and resulted in healthier soybean plants and higher yield potential.
“Credenz varieties tolerant of SDS reduce the amount of toxin that is flushed from the infected root system up into the canopy of the plant, which is where significant yield loss happens,” says Weidenbenner. “ILeVO seed treatment works early in the season to protect the plant from that early-season infection and the following root rot. This combination of innovative solutions from BASF is an effective ‘one-two punch’ against SDS that provides season long protection.” For more information about Credenz varieties, variety selection, SDS or seed treatments for your farm operation, contact your local BASF representative.
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