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SCHMIDT: 2017 state Soybean Cyst Nematode levels

By Staff | Feb 16, 2018

Soybean Cyst Nematode is the single biggest disease threat across the United States, and it is spreading quickly in North Dakota. If growers find it early, it can be managed with resistant varieties and rotation, but if they get behind on it, it will reduce yield for years.

Last fall, growers may recall receiving an email from the Pierce County NDSU Extension office notifying them of the availability of a limited number of sample bags available for distribution for the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) sampling program sponsored by the North Dakota Soybean Council.

This week I wanted to share the results of the North Dakota soybean cyst nematode survey conducted last fall. As seen on the map, only six fields have been sampled in Pierce County since the sampling program began in 2013.

There are now two areas in Pierce County with 50-200 eggs/100cc levels and while these levels are viewed as ‘inconclusive’ and possibly a false positive it still means they could be positive. Regardless, moderate SCN levels have been found in neighboring counties and SCN has already crept farther west across North Dakota, meaning it will only be a matter of time before Pierce County soybean growers will be faced with the challenges of managing it as well.

The North Dakota Soybean Council will again support this sampling program 2018; up to 2,000 samples. Like in previous years, sample bags will be distributed to county offices during the fall of 2018 for distribution to growers and updated maps will be created from these sample results. These maps allow for monitoring the spread of SCN across the state to enable growers a better chance at staying ahead of this yield robbing foe.

SCN is spreading and is becoming a major issue in the state. This disease can be managed but must be found early. Unlike most diseases, you can take a 15-30% yield hit before you see above ground symptoms. Therefore, soil sampling is a critical component of management and growers are encouraged to take advantage of this voluntary sampling program this fall.

For further information, you may contact the Pierce County NDSU Extension office at 776-6234 ext. 5 or via email at yolanda.schmidt@ndsu.edu.

Schmidt is the NDSU Extension Service agent for Pierce County.

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