Staying on top of all the latest ag technology, field data and research can be overwhelming. That’s why the Soybean Research & Information Initiative, formerly the Plant Health Initiative, continually provides you with access to expert information and news about soybean pests, diseases, and agronomics. The aim of this check off-funded website is to communicate the on-going progress and current understanding coming from your active and wide-ranging U.S. soybean research programs. Please visit often!

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Fri - June 9, 2017
by Mehdi Kabbage and Damon L. Smith, Soybean Plant Pathologists, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Sclerotinia stem rot (SSR), also known as white mold of soybean, can be a significant yield-limiting disease in the north-central United States. The fungal pathogen, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is one of the most successful of all plant pathogens — with an ability to infect over 350 plant species.

We have made some significant progress in our understanding of how this pathogen is able to hijack plant defenses and cause disease — and in this process have revealed promising genetic targets for durable host resistance.   MORE
Mon - May 22, 2017
by Christian Krupke, Soybean Entomologist, Purdue University

A large, multi-state study confirmed that by the V2 stage, tissue concentrations of thiamethoxam, the neonicotinoid insecticide applied as a coating to soybean seeds, were statistically similar to plants grown from untreated seeds.

We also found that even during aphid infestations, the neonicotinoid seed treatment produced the same yields as using no insecticide at all. The IPM treatment, combining scouting and foliar-applied insecticide where necessary, resulted in significant yield increases.

The relevance of this information for soybean producers is that an IPM approach remains a better pest management investment for the soybean aphid in the north-central region, both in terms of protecting the yield potential of the crop, and in terms of break-even probability for producers.  MORE
Mon - May 8, 2017
by Mehdi Kabbage and Damon Smith, Soybean Plant Pathologists, University of Wisconsin

Soybean flowering, apothecia formation, and conducive weather conditions must occur simultaneously for sclerotinia stem rot (white mold) to occur. It is difficult for farmers to assess these factors during the season, and fungicide applications are often ineffective due to poor timing. Fungicide applications might also be unnecessary if the required environmental factors do not converge. We have made progress on a predictive model to assess the risk of disease development in soybeans. The goal is to help farmers decrease unnecessary fungicide input in low-risk environments and to optimize the timing of application of fungicides in high-risk environments.  MORE
Tue - April 18, 2017
by Gregory L. Tylka, Soybean Nematologist, Iowa State University

The ability of soybean cyst nematode (SCN) populations to reproduce on germplasm lines used in soybean breeding programs was originally measured by a test called the SCN race test. Since 2002, an adaptation of the test, called the HG type test, has been in use. Although 15 years have passed since the HG type test was introduced, confusion still exists about the concepts of SCN race and HG type. To help illustrate the concept of HG types, we drew a comparison between the current SCN HG type test and a hypothetical test for human food sensitivities that may provide a new perspective and make HG types more easily understood.  MORE