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Hill and Furrow

Results from 2016 SDS cover crop x seed treatment trial available

One commonality among people is that topics of curiosity are often shared with others. Sometimes these anecdotes can reveal topics that are in need of further study.

The 2015 growing season was one that favored sudden death syndrome (SDS) in soybean, which tended to be quite severe in some areas of western Illinois. One anecdote was passed along to me by Mr. Mike Roegge, a now retired Educator with University of Illinois Extension that lives and works in Adams County. Mike heard from a couple of people that they tended to see lower SDS disease severity in those fields that had had a cereal rye cover crop earlier that spring. These anecdotes were real and based upon real observations, but hadn't resulted from replicated, randomized research trials. This is where we came in.

In the fall of 2015 personnel at the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center in Monmouth seeded a winter cover crop - cereal rye - at a rate of 90 lb/A with a no-till drill. Large swaths of cover crop plots were established, overwintered and were terminated using herbicides during the spring of 2016. Into these larger blocks, smaller plots were established and included the following four treatments: cover crop plots planted to either bare seed or seed treated with ILeVO (a.i.: fluopyram: Bayer Crop Science) and plots that had had no winter cover crop and were planted to either bare seed or seed treated with ILeVO. There were a total of eight replications.

Further information about data collection and analysis and the results of this experiment are available here.