Spring is a good time for SCN testing

Farmers conducting soil testing this spring are also encouraged to sample for Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN).

Nathan Schroeder (SHROH-der), nematologist at the University of Illinois, says SCN is the leading cause of soybean yield loss..

“A lot of times, farmers don’t know that they have a problem above ground,” he says. “The plants look good; they look healthy and it’s really just directly hitting that yield. So, you have green, healthy tissue, but you’re getting less beans at the end of the season.”

He tells Brownfield the first step in combatting the pest is knowing there’s a problem…

“Go out into your field, collect samples, you send it off to us, and then we’ll run those samples for you,” he says. “We’ll count the number of eggs for you, and then based on that, we can say, OK, you know you’re in good shape or, well, you need to think about alternative management strategies.”

Schroeder says the testing can be done any time of the year, and SCN management strategies include…

“One of the first things that we talk about is rotation, but rotation alone will not eliminate the problem, and so that brings us to sort of our second prong, which is resistance.”  He says, “We really recommend the use of SCN resistant varieties.”

Illinois producers can currently utilize free SCN testing thanks to the Illinois Soybean Association and the U of I Plant Clinic.  Email [email protected] to learn more.  

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