You’ve scouted and sampled for the No. 1 soybean yield robber, soybean cyst nematode (SCN), and the results are back from the lab. What’s next?
Greg Tylka, Ph.D., a soybean researcher at Iowa State University, says SCN management.
“It doesn’t mean that you can’t grow soybeans anymore, it just means that you now need to start thinking about resistant varieties and seed treatments companies are now offering,” says Tylka.
When you are thinking about SCN management, diversify and consider these Five Tips for Protecting Your Soybean Field from SCN, as well as a few from Tylka.
Planting resistant varieties is important, but Tylka cautions that it’s not a fool-proof solution. There are always some nematodes that can survive and make management difficult.
“The best management tip for next year’s soybean crop is to have knowledge of what that soybean crop looked like and was challenged by the last time soybeans were grown in that field,” he says.
If left untreated, SCN can get worse.
According to Tylka, SCN causes enough damage by itself, but could also make other diseases worse, such as Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS). Soy-checkoff-funded research is currently investigating the connection between SDS and SCN to develop soybean lines with resistance to both. Soybean research like this provides farmers an opportunity to get the most out of their yield.
For those whose test results come back with no sign of SCN, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.
“Absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence,” says Tylka. “Just because you tested and didn’t find the nematode, doesn’t prove that it’s not there.”
Fields that have no history of SCN should be tested every four to six years, Tylka says.
To learn more about SCN, visit Iowa State’s SCN website.