Soybean Cyst Nematode Moves North

Recent confirmation of SCN in south eastern North Dakota has a lot of people asking questions about SCN. While our location in Benson, Minnesota, location has been testing thousands of soil samples for SCN each year, our Northwood, North Dakota, location has only been testing SCN for the past two years. Based on the northward movement of SCN over the past 20 years, it was only a matter of time before SCN would become common in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. BEANS

One of the most frequent questions we hear is: “How can I have SCN in my field if I have only grown soybeans a couple of times?” There are many ways SCN can be in a field, even with little history of soybeans, including:

  1. Blowing soil carrying eggs from a SCN infested field
  2. Water carrying soil with SCN eggs from a SCN infested field
  3. Geese feeding in your field and bringing soil from infested fields

A few of the soil samples tested in Northwood this fall have had surprisingly high levels of SCN. One sample from 45 miles northwest of Fargo, North Dakota, had a SCN level of 45,600 eggs/100 cc of soil. A SCN level higher than 2,000 will certainly require special management to reduce the SCN population over time.

Seed companies are working hard to develop more SCN resistant varieties for the northern areas. It is important to test any field where the soybean yields have been disappointing for no apparent reason. If SCN is confirmed, then a management plan can be put together to reduce the SCN numbers over time. If you have any questions on soil sampling for SCN, please give our technical staff a call.