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2020 Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) Sampling Program (08/27/20)

We encourage soybean growers to sample for soybean cyst nematode (SCN) this growing season, and NDSU Extension and the North Dakota Soybean Council are working together again to coordinate a soybean cyst nematode (SCN) soil testing program.

We encourage soybean growers to sample for soybean cyst nematode (SCN) this growing season, and NDSU Extension and the North Dakota Soybean Council are working together again to coordinate a soybean cyst nematode (SCN) soil testing program.

SCN is the #1 yield robber of soybeans in the US, causing approximately $1B in yield loss to the US soybean crop every year. It’s a parasitic worm that was first found in North Dakota in 2003 and continues to spread through North Dakota. If identified, management tools (including genetic resistance, crop rotation and seed treatments) are available. There are two reasons to sample for SCN. First, if you have never checked for SCN, soil sampling is the easiest way to determine if you have the nematode. Second, if you know you have SCN, it is a useful tool to determine how well your management tools are working (are your egg levels dropping?).

Anyone interested in soil sampling for SCN can pick up to three pre-labeled SCN soil test bags from their County Extension office. The laboratory fees from SCN samples submitted though the sampling program are covered by the North Dakota Soybean Council. A total of 2,000 SCN soil test bags will be available to growers on a first come first serve basis.

To submit a sample; fill the bag with soil, provide site information, and send the bag to the partner lab (Agvise). Results will be mailed directly to the submitting growers. Notably, laboratory fees are covered for samples submitted in the pre-labeled bags only, so it is critical to pick them up from the county Extension office.

The egg levels and geospatial positions from previous years samples that were used to generate SCN distribution maps in North Dakota show ‘hot spots’ in much of the SE and EC part of the state, and movement west and north (Figure 1). In 2020, we will use egg level data and add to the map. Importantly, NDSU does not have access to any personal information – just the egg level and geospatial data to generate a map.

This SCN sampling program began in 2013 and has been instrumental in understanding where SCN is located in the state. To date, close to 4,000 samples have been submitted by North Dakota growers, and about 1/3 of those have had some level of nematode eggs.

If a grower finds SCN, the use of genetic resistance, crop rotation and nematicide seed treatments are available to help manage the disease.

We encourage everyone to sample fields for SCN. We thank the North Dakota Soybean Council for funding the effort.

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Sam Markell

Extension Plant Pathologist, Broad-leaf Crops

 

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