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Environment, insects, diseases, and the interactions of these can cause soybean seed to be blemished or appear damaged. Economic injury depends on cause and timing of causal agent. Discounts may occur at elevators because of the discoloration.
Developing soybean seed can become discolored and damaged because of stressful environmental conditions, certain diseases, and from pod and seed feeding insects. Environmental conditions include rain, heavy dews, fog, and high relative humidity. Purple seed stain, Diaporthe species, frogeye leaf spot, anthracnose, and viral diseases can cause discolored seed. Pod-feeding insects, such as stinkbugs and bean leaf beetles, can expose the seeds to moisture and secondary infection.
Figure 1. Purple seed stain.
Figure 2. White coating on seed resulting from Diaporthe.
Figure 3. Varying degrees of stink bug damage to soybean pods and seeds. Soybean photo source: Ric Bessin, University of Kentucky.
Sweets, L. 2011. Discolored soybean seed. Integrated Pest & Crop Management. University of Missouri. https://ipm.missouri.edu. Malvick, D. 2018. Bean pod mottle virus on soybean. University of Minnesota Extension. https://extension.umn.edu/.
Giesler, L.J. Soybean mosaic virus. CROPWATCH. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. https://cropwatch.unl.edu/.
Obermeyer, J. Green stink bug. Field Crops IPM. Purdue University. https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/.
Web sources verified 10/18/18. 181008084607