Source: Purdue University Extension

By Darrin Pack

Purdue Extension has joined six other universities from the Midwest and Ontario, Canada, in a partnership with the North Central Soybean Research Program to create a series of reference materials helping producers identify and manage a variety of soybean diseases.

The Soybean Disease Management series will be updated regularly with the latest available information on diseases and management options, says Kirsten Wise, Purdue University Extension plant pathologist.

"We are entering the time of the season when symptoms of many soybean diseases begin to emerge," she says. "With the wet conditions we had earlier in the year, we may see more soybean disease issues in 2015, and it is important that farmers know what is going on in their fields."

Wise said the project began in 2013 with the outbreak of Soybean Vein Necrosis Virus.

"This was a new disease in many states and we realized there was very little information available to provide to farmers about this disease," she says. "This group compiled what was already known about the disease into a publication that we were able to make available to farmers to answer their questions about SVNV before the next growing season."

In 2014, stem canker and pod and stem blight were more prevalent in Midwestern soybean fields, and the group developed several publications to address those diseases.

Experts from the participating institutions stay in regular contact and develop resources on different emerging diseases each year, Wise says. The group has also used recent research to update past publications on common diseases such as white mold, charcoal rot and soybean seedling blights. All extension plant pathologists in the North Central region review the publications prior to release.

"These publications create awareness about soybean diseases, and are easily updated as we learn more about these diseases," Wise says. "If farmers are aware of and able to accurately identify the diseases in their fields, then we can take steps to better manage those issues the next time the field is planted to soybeans."

Full-length publications currently available in the series are:

  • Stem Canker
  • Soybean Seedling Diseases
  • Pod and Stem Blight and Phomopsis Seed Decay
  • Soybean Vein Necrosis Virus
  • Charcoal Rot
  • White Mold

Scouting cards are available for common soybean seed diseases, soybean stem diseases and white mold in soybeans.

The project is supported by soybean checkoff funds provided by of the North Central Soybean Research Program and the United Soybean Board.

All materials can be downloaded through Purdue's The Education Store or on the North Central Soybean Research Program Soybean Research and Information Initiative website under the “new publications” tab at