Seedling Pathogens in Soybean: Disease Management and Farmer Education

  • Wise, Kiersten (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Abstract Seedling pathogens in soybean: Disease management and farmer education Seedling diseases rank in the top five threats to soybean production every year and they cause over 35M bushels loss annually. Moreover, farmers and agricultural professionals have considered seedling pathogens to cause one disease, but results made possible by funding from the United Soybean Board have demonstrated that seedling pathogens cause a disease complex. These diseases are caused by fungal and fungal-like organisms and disease symptoms vary from field to field, and are difficult to identify in the field. Seedling pathogens can slow seed germination, plant growth, and kill young seedlings thus compromising the plant population needed for profitable yield. Because these pathogens are naturally present in the soil and cannot be eliminated, they need to be managed to reduce yield loss. For farmers, planting decisions (choosing maturities, when to plant, use of a seed treatment, etc.) are critical. However, in recent years, spring weather has forced farmers to replant many acres resulting in later stand establishment that has resulted added input costs and yield loss. This proposed research will combine epidemiology and management of seedling pathogens to improve farmers’ decision-making in soybean planting, reducing crop input costs and boosting seed quality. We also propose using next generation sensing to improve field-level seedling disease identification so farmers can more accurately understand where seedling diseases are causing losses. The deliverables include molecular tools for identification of pathogens, sources of resistance to seedling pathogens, planting and disease identification decision making tools, and how production strategies influence seedling pathogens throughout the soybean production cycle. As research improves our understanding of the seedling disease complex, the management recommendations will be available for farmers. This project supports supply within the health and nutrition strategic goal of the USB by developing tools to improve farmers ability to make planting decisions and adopt economical, yet efficient management practices for seedling diseases, thereby increasing economic returns, improving yields, and the quality of the U.S. soybean crop. The challenges and failures of managing seedling diseases in soybean are based in part on limitations in identification, and updated decision and management tools. Our research results will create Extension outputs (through the Crop Protection Network) to ensure farmers have the updated information to manage seedling diseases and improve sustainable production. This project is currently in the second year and researchers have made steady progress in their current projects. We anticipate that continuation of support from USB will allow this group to expedite the delivery of information and decision support tools and when appropriate communicate these findings to farmers and stakeholders. Furthermore, we anticipate providing direct economic feedback to farmers on their production practices, which will ultimately give consumers information on the availability of healthy soybean. Additionally, our project will encourage small and large farms to hedge production and protect from plant diseases by growing soybean under specific conditions.
Effective start/end date10/1/22 → 9/30/23


  • North Dakota State University: $24,993.00


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