Seeds for Success

How a Once Dominant Soybean Disease is Becoming Less of an Issue for AgVenture Customers

by Jeff Shaner, Soybean Product Lead

When I took on the role as AgVenture, Inc.’s soybean product manager back in 2001, my predecessor passed along that the number one scourge he faced year-in and year-out locally, in Illinois and Indiana in particular, was Brown Stem Rot (BSR).  This fungal disease pathogen Cadophora gregata is always a threat to farmers since it favors moderate temperatures and generally moist soils. With most farms entrenched in a 50/50 corn-soy rotation, there really isn’t a chance for this soil and residue borne problem to ever have a chance to dissipate from arduous levels out in the countryside.

So why are very few AgVenture customer farmers complaining about BSR ruining their crops these days?  Two major reasons come to mind.

Genetic Enhancements

The soybean breeding team at Corteva Agriscience is rocking and rolling on soybean disease resistance/tolerance enhancements.  This means you will find our AgVenture soybean line-up showing off better and better scores against thugs like Sudden Death Syndrome, Phytophthora Root Rot, Charcoal Rot and this featured problem, Brown Stem Rot.

Genetic yield gain also continues to increase yearly, even to the point where people are astounded by the results they are able to achieve.  For example, Troy, a farmer in Indiana, called me from his combine this past fall saying “Jeff, I am not in the cornfield, but I want you to know my yield monitor is running around 160 bu/a.” Troy was harvesting AV29A1E™, a new AgVenture brand Enlist E3® soybean variety that night with his equipment calibrations spot on.

If that kind of yield potential already exists in our modern genetic pool, protecting that yield through the onslaught of a thousand variables that occur during the growing season becomes a top priority.


Leaf of brown stem rot infected plant showing necrosis and chlorosis of tissue. Photo credit: Iowa State University Integrated Crop Management



Hand-Selected Products

Your local AgVenture Independent Seed Company (ISC) is very involved at a grassroots level in product selection for their customers.  The leadership at your ISC can study multiple genetic research locations to scout new releases in advance.  They get opportunities to hear from breeders at our meetings and stay informed on the direction our breeding program is heading.  And as much as I like my role as an advisor to our ISCs on product selection, I do not have the final word like other corporate product managers do, on which varieties end up in your product guide.  That privilege belongs to your local ISC  as they hand-select line-ups best suited to the needs of their region.

Latest Technology

AgVenture continues to work with Corteva’s breeding program to bring you the best varieties that stack up against Brown Stem Rot for your fields.

For this year:

  • Our current soybean portfolio features 13 products showing genetic markers for full resistance to BSR.
  • The new soybean class we released for 2024 initiates 17 more products into the lineup.

Brown Stem Rot is, unfortunately, still a driver disease in many parts of the country.  Farmers need to be aware of its prevalence and seek out one of the few defenses available, AgVenture brand soybean seed varieties, that are bred to defend against the pressure.

Talk to your AgVenture Yield Specialist about this and other benefits of planting a hand-selected line-up of AgVenture brand soybeans in 2024.


If you would like to learn more about how you can thrive by becoming an ISC, let us know.

Hear what farmers are saying

“I use AgVenture because of their excellent products, service, and agronomic support. When we need something they respond quickly. I can’t think of any reason why we wouldn’t use AgVenture. AgVenture stressed the importance of new technology on our farm and is helping us maximize our yield maps, soil grid maps, and fertilizer application data. I do business with AgVenture because they are very trustworthy and service oriented.”

- Kansas Farmer

“We’ve had the AgVenture Spangler 'Training Plots' for several years. The plots help us in our corn and soybean selections. For 3 generations, we have been using AgVenture Spangler products.”

- Wisconsin Farmer

“I consider everyone at AgVenture a friend and I can tell that they are really looking out for me and my farming operation. AgVenture is an easy company to work with and you cannot beat the service. When I have questions about my crops I call AgVenture and they are here right away helping me find the answer.”

- Kansas Farmer

“An AgVenture Yield Specialist showed me what my yields could be with AgVenture seed and I thought they were impossible because they were so good.”

- Nebraska Farmer