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It’s The Season for SCN Soil Sampling

October 12, 2017
This agronomic image shows a combine harvesting soybeans.

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the top soybean pest in the U.S., contributing to yield losses as high as 30%. An effective SCN management program starts with a reliable way to detect SCN: soil sampling.

Here are some tips on how to get the best results from your soil sampling efforts.

  • Avoid sampling in wet, muddy soils
  • Plan to sample in a zig-zag pattern
  • Collect many soil cores to cover spatially-scattered SCN populations
  • Probe or dig roughly 8 inches deep
  • Store your collected samples in a cooler and fridge
  • Ship them overnight to a lab during the week

Soil sampling should be done in the fall every 2-3 soybean seasons so that you can monitor SCN levels over time. After harvest, but before the first frost, is the most effective time to sample for SCN because the population density will be at its peak. Researchers with the Iowa State University Extension encourage fall soil sampling because it can explain if SCN is responsible for the most recent season’s low yields and if you need to develop a SCN management plan for next season.

University experts say the best way to handle SCN is with an integrated and diverse management program. In addition to planting SCN-resistant soybean varieties and rotating them with non-host crops, like corn or alfalfa, you can use a seed-applied nematicide to protect soybean yield potential.

Syngenta recommends growers plant seed treated with Clariva® Elite Beans seed treatment, an easy-to-handle premix of Clariva® pn nematicide and CruiserMaxx® Vibrance® seed treatment, which provides lethal activity against SCN all season long

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