Campus Units

Plant Pathology and Microbiology

Document Type


Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Plant Health Progress


10.1094/PHP-2013- 0529-01-RS


Soybean yield losses due to sudden death syndrome (SDS) have varied from year to year in Iowa since the disease was first reported in 1993. An SDS epidemic in 2010 resulted in significant yield losses and raised numerous concerns by farmers and agronomists regarding the potential for future outbreaks. Since infection and SDS development is highly dependent on temperature and soil moisture, our hypothesis was that SDS epidemics occur in years with above-average rainfall and below-average temperatures. To test this hypothesis, environmental conditions in southeast and central Iowa were compared among epidemic and non-epidemic years. Mean total precipitation and number of days with precipitation during each month of the growing season (April through August) tended to be greater in epidemic years (10.4 to 26.3 inches, 10 to 15 days) than non-epidemic years (8.9 to 15.4 inches, 9 to 12 days). Soil temperatures in April through July averaged less in epidemic years (9.0 to 24.7°C) than non-epidemic years (10.4 to 26.6°C). The widespread 2010 SDS epidemic in Iowa likely resulted from the concurrence of several weather conditions that were particularly favorable for disease. To reduce risk of yield losses in future years, soybean farmers should use an integrated disease management for SDS, focusing on using resistant varieties, avoiding soil compaction, and avoiding planting in cool wet soils.


This article is published as Leandro, L. F. S., Robertson, A. E., Mueller, D. S., and Yang, X.-B. 2013. Climatic and environmental trends observed during epidemic and non-epidemic years of soybean sudden death syndrome in Iowa. Plant Health Progress doi: 10.1094/PHP-2013- 0529-01-RS. Posted with permission.

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Plant Management Network



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