Watch Out for SDS

Since this spring has been particularly cool and rainy - Midwestern farmers and scientists are on alert for Sudden Death Syndrome - which thrives in cold, wet soils. SDS is a frustrating disease for farmers and researchers - according to Iowa State University Plant Pathologist Leonor Leandro - because it's unpredictable and there's no effective treatment yet. Once a seed is planted - Leandro says it's impossible to prevent SDS - but farmers can take preventative steps before planting. First - she says seed selection is key. While new varieties may still develop SDS under prime conditions - she says they will have less yield loss than more susceptible varieties. Second - Leandro suggests testing for nematodes in fields with a history of SDS. Finally - she says it's important to ensure fields drain well and don't have compacted soils.

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