Harvest Complete? It’s Time To Assess SCN Levels In Your Fields

By Horacio Lopez-Nicora, OSU Extension, adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-39

Soybean cyst nematode poses a significant threat to soybean production, with potential yield reductions occurring without visible symptoms. To effectively manage SCN, it is crucial to know the presence and population levels of this destructive pathogen in your fields. Fall presents an ideal opportunity for sampling soil and testing for SCN, allowing growers to plan ahead and implement effective management strategies. In this article, we highlight the importance of fall sampling for SCN and provide valuable resources available to Ohio growers.

Why Sample in Fall? Fall is the optimal time for soil sampling for several reasons. Firstly, if you are unsure whether your fields are infested with SCN or not, fall sampling can clarify its presence. Secondly, if you already know about the presence of SCN but want to monitor population levels over time, fall sampling enables accurate tracking of changes. Lastly, if you plan on collecting soil samples for fertility analysis anyway, using a subsample specifically for SCN testing can save time and effort.

The Importance of Knowing Your Numbers. Understanding your specific SCN numbers is crucial in determining appropriate management strategies tailored to your field’s needs. By conducting fall soil tests and obtaining accurate population data before planning next year’s planting season, growers gain valuable insights into implementing effective practices that mitigate yield losses caused by SCN infestations.

Free Soil Sampling Opportunities. Exciting news! With funding from the Ohio Soybean Council, we are able to offer free testing for up to two soil samples per grower. The samples will be tested for SCN. This initiative aims at assisting farmers in identifying their nematode populations accurately. To submit your samples, please download and complete the Soil Sample Submission Form and mail them to:

OSU Soybean Pathology and Nematology Lab

Attn: Horacio Lopez-Nicora, Ph.D.

110 Kottman Hall

2021 Coffey Rd.

Columbus, Ohio 43210

lopez-nicora.1@osu.edu

Sampling Guidelines. While growers have flexibility in choosing their preferred sampling methods, we recommend collecting one sample from a low-yielding area and another from a high-yielding area within each field. To ensure accurate analysis, please download and complete the Soil Sample Submission Form available on our website. Mail your samples to the OSU Soybean Pathology and Nematology Lab at the provided address.

Curious to know how we process samples for SCN?

We invite you to WATCH THIS VIDEO* and learn how we process soil samples to collect and quantify SCN. Active management of SCN begins with a soil sample to detect its presence, know your SCN numbers, and adopt an integrated management approach.

*A big thanks to Dusty Sonnenberg and Joel Penhorwood from Ohio Field Leader, Ohio Ag Net & Ohio’s Country Journal for their assistance!

INTRODUCING THE SCN PROFIT CHECKER CALCULATOR. To further emphasize the urgency of soil testing this fall, The SCN Coalition has launched a valuable tool called the “SCN Profit Checker Calculator.” This online tool estimates yield loss and profit decline attributed to SCN in specific fields. By inputting field data such as SCN egg count, percent sand, soil pH, and the SCN female index on PI88788 (default values provided for most states), growers can calculate their potential losses due to nematode infestation. Access this tool at SCNProfitChecker.com.

Take action now! Don’t let soybean cyst nematode silently damage your yields! Fall is an opportune time to sample soil for SCN and gain essential insights into population levels that will guide effective management strategies for next year’s planting season. Take advantage of free testing services offered by Ohio Soybean Council while utilizing additional resources like The SCN Profit Checker Calculator. By knowing your numbers now, you can protect your soybean crops from yield losses caused by this destructive pathogen.

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