Bayer Applies for U.S. Approval of Soybean Disease Seed Treatment

03.03.2014 -

Bayer CropScience has submitted an application to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for registration of its ILeVO seed treatment to protect soybean seeds from the soil-borne pathogen Fusarium virguliform. The fungus is said to cause the Sudden Death Syndrome that has plagued crops in U.S. the Midwest in particular.

The agrochemicals arm of the German chemical giant said SDS is present in all major soybean-growing regions and continues to adapt into new geographies, causing "massive destruction" to growers' crops. Once affected, "it is there to stay." From 2009-2011, Bayer estimates that SDS cased annual yield losses of 42 million bushels per acre.

During research and field trials, ILeVO is said to have protected soybeans from early-season infection while reducing late-season leaf chlorosis and necrosis leading to leaf, flower and pod abortion and thus yield loss. According to Bayer, the active ingredient in the seed treatment is "systemic." It moves from the seed into the tissue of both the stem and roots of soybean seedlings, a method of distribution the company says is "critical" to successful disease control.

Bayer said its research has shown that ILeVO is "safe to the seed with no impact on germination." The company forecasts registration by the EPA before the end of 2015, in time for the 2015 growing season.