NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Sampling Soybean Fields for Soybean Cyst Nematodes

Sampling Soybean Fields for Soybean Cyst NematodesSoybean harvest is in the final stretch of completion for area farmers as fields were harvested quickly with nice fall weather and little moisture.  Producers are beginning to harvest corn as they finish up with soybeans.  The moisture on the corn is low enough in most areas to not need to be put in a dryer to reach adequate moisture for storage.  Area producers are thankful for the nice weather and the field conditions being suitable for harvesting. 

As soybean fields are being harvested I encourage farmers to take a minute to send in a soil sample to the lab for analysis of Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) numbers.  When taking a sample you will want to sample the field before doing any tillage.  Sample should be taken near the roots of the bean plant and in areas with lower yields, field entrances, areas where water stands in the fields and along shelter belts or fence lines. 

SCN is a plant-parasitic worm that has been found in North Dakota since 2003 in Richland County.  Numbers have been increasing westward across the state every year.  The only way to know if you have SCN in your field is to take a soil sample and send to the lab for analysis.  Above ground symptoms of SCN may not appear, and if signs are showing in your fields there could already be a substantial yield decline to your fields. 

The SCN life cycle can be completed in as few as 24 days during the growing season.  There can be 3-6 generations per year.  I’m going to give an example where only 1% of the eggs survive each generation.  We start with 200 eggs at the beginning of the season, which is a relatively low number, and with 6 generations per year we can end up with 39,000 eggs by the end of the season.  If we don’t know our SCN numbers going into the season there is no management practices that can be used to help reduce the numbers. 

Sampling for SCN is provided free of charge thanks to support from the North Dakota Soybean Council.  If you have questions about sampling or would like a sample taken contact the NDSU Extension Office.      

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/soy-soybean-nature-green-998566/ (downloaded 10/14/20)


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