Bayer CropScience announced that the EPA has approved its application for the registration of Ilevo, the only seed treatment that protects the root system against infections caused by the Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) fungus and has activity against dangerous nematodes in the seed zone.

During research and field trials from 2011-14, Ilevo was used on 181 fields with visual symptoms of SDS. In those trials, yield benefits ranged from 4 to10 bushels per acre over untreated seeds with visual SDS symptoms. Even when visual symptoms are not present, the results estimated growers could see an average yield increase of 2 bushels per acre when using ILeVO as part of an early season management approach.

SDS is a major issue in soybean-growing regions, causing massive destruction to soybean growers’ crops all across the U.S. First seen in Arkansas in 1971, this deadly disease now has been documented in nearly every state that grows soybeans, and the stakes couldn’t be higher — according to the United Soybean Board, from 2009-11, average losses from SDS in the U.S. were estimated at 42 million bushels per year, and the disease is spreading and intensifying. 

The impact on yield depends on the growth stage at the onset of symptoms, as yield losses are greater when symptoms develop in early reproductive stages. By protecting the root system early in the growth stages, specifically the seed zone, against the SDS fungus and nematodes, it allows the plant to be healthier from the start for higher yield potential. Previously, growers had limited options when it came to SDS management: seed variety tolerance and delayed planting dates. By adding ILeVO to their Integrated Pest Management (IMP) program, growers can achieve higher yields at harvest.

Daren Mueller, assistant professor at Iowa State University said that growers should focus on an integrated approach to SDS management.

“While we do have some levels of resistance to the disease in many of the maturity groups, there are no soybeans that are completely immune to SDS. Having an integrated management approach with the addition of products such as Ilevo would provide a sound set of tools for growers to protect their crop when resistance may not be enough. We’ve tested Ilevo, and it appears to be a very effective product in preventing damage from SDS,” Mueller said.

Ilevo and Poncho/Votivo combine for root and plant protection with three modes of action against early-season fungus, insects and nematodes to deliver higher yield potential. The seed treatment is applied to the seed, which means less direct exposure to the environment compared to other crop protection methods of application. 

Ilevo is available for the 2015 growing season.