Waukesha, Wis. (July 11, 2022) – Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the leading yield-robber of the soybean crop in North America, causing more than $1.5 billion in losses annually. The good news is soybean farmers can actively manage SCN to protect yield potential. To bring attention to the importance of active SCN management, The SCN Coalition and Valent have joined forces to encourage soybean farmers to check for SCN females attached to roots during the growing season.
Soybean fields infested with SCN may look healthy above ground, but adult SCN females can be detected on the roots of infested plants as soon as six weeks after soybeans have emerged. The adult SCN females fill with eggs and eventually die, changing into hardened cysts that protect the eggs in the soil. Watch this video to learn how to check roots.
Detecting SCN females on roots provides an indication if current tools used to manage SCN are effective. “Farmers can use a shovel to dig up soybean plants and then gently remove the soil around the roots,” says North Dakota State University Plant Pathologist Sam Markell. “Females on roots are much smaller than nitrogen-fixing nodules and can be difficult to see. A hand lens and a flashlight can make it easier to detect females.”
If you planted an SCN-resistant soybean variety but you still discover females on the roots, Coalition leaders encourage farmers to plan on testing soil for SCN after harvest and talk to their trusted crop adviser or university extension expert to evaluate SCN management strategies. SCN egg counts may be higher in the fall since a new generation of SCN is born every 24 days during the summer.
SCN Root Check: What’s Your Number?
With the support of Valent U.S.A., The SCN Coalition is ramping up its educational efforts during July. Follow the Coalition on Twitter and Facebook to learn how SCN is overcoming the most common source of SCN resistance known as PI 88788, why farmers should test their fields to know their SCN numbers, the importance of rotating to non-host crops, why it’s critical to rotate SCN resistant varieties, and how a nematode-protectant seed treatment can offer another level of protection against SCN.
Share pictures of your root check on social media by tagging @TheSCNCoalition on Twitter and Facebook and by tagging @ValentUSA on Twitter and @WeAreValentUSA on Facebook.
“Valent is pleased to partner with The SCN Coalition to bring attention to this devastating pest,” says Will Griffin, senior seed protection specialist with Valent U.S.A. “We are committed to helping farmers take the next steps toward their production goals by providing a balanced portfolio of products, practices and real-world recommendations.”