Fighting SDS: ILeVO and the Halo Effect

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Bayer CropScience's blog at Bayer Connect.

Growers who have planted soybean seeds treated with ILeVO are getting a bit of a surprise as they walk their fields just as the plants are starting to emerge. A visual confirmation that ILeVO is working is causing growers to wonder what is happening to their crops. Soybean seedlings are emerging from the ground light green, but then turn yellow and finally brown. If it's happening in your field, you may initially think your crop is failing, but within days you will see the plants grow through this stage to become strong and robust. This is called the Halo Effect and its appearance is proof that ILeVO seed treatment is protecting the soybeans against Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS); as well as nematodes.

We saw the Halo Effect throughout our 4 previous years of product research and found that it does not harm the plant or impact the SDS control and yield benefits that ILeVO brings. Outside researchers have found similar results as well. Joint research published by Iowa State and Purdue Universities concluded that "if fields that have had a history of SDS and were or will be planted under less than ideal environmental conditions, the inclusion of ILeVO in the seed treatment package may be a benefit that outweighs the short-term injury to seedlings in the cotyledon stage.

The majority of soybean plants treated with ILeVO will experience varying degrees of the Halo Effect, a visual confirmation that the treatment is circulating through the plant. You will see discoloration on the edge of the cotyledons until the cotyledons fall off, but it won't appear on the true leaves.

The threat of SDS is real and on the rise. It is estimated that since 2009, SDS has contributed to an annual yield loss of more than $500 million and continues to expand across a multitude of state lines. Soybean nematodes contribute to the largest loss of revenues for soybean growers in the Unites States. Knowing and leveraging the tools available is essential to protecting your soybean crops from these yield-robbing pests. 

ILeVO, by Bayer CropScience, is the first and only seed treatment for SDS and nematode activity on the market today. ILeVO is unique because it protects the root system in the early growth stages – making the plant healthier from the start. Combining ILeVO with Poncho/VOTiVO provides unmatched control of nematodes, insects and the SDS fungus. When foliar SDS symptoms are present, growers can expect a 4-10 bu/acre increase with the use of ILeVO and Poncho/VOTiVO.

We are excited to bring ILeVO to market this season as a tool you can use to control SDS and assist with soybean nematode control, and we look forward to hearing your yield benefit stories come harvest time.

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To learn more about ILeVO and its introduction in the United States, visit us at

Jennifer Riggs has a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology and Microbiology from Texas A&M University. She has worked in Seed Treatments Research and Development for 20 years.


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