An extension entomologist at the University of Missouri is reminding farmers it’s not too late to soil sample for soybean cyst nematode (SCN).
Amanda Howland says fields can sustain up to 30 percent yield loss without displaying symptoms.
“Soybean Cyst Nematode’s effect on soybeans can look very similar to other things such as nutrient deficiency or drought. So it’s hard to know for sure that the culprit is SCN without soil sampling your field.”
While Howland says the end of the growing season is the best time to test for SCN because growers have time to adjust crop rotation and variety selection– it’s still valuable to collect samples ahead of planting.
She recommends limiting the size of the area being sampled to no more than 20 acres and dig down about eight inches.
“Take about 15 to 20 subsamples in that 10 to 20 acre subfield. The more samples you take in a smaller area will give you more accurate results.”
Howland says farmers should follow a zig-zag pattern when taking samples because SCN is not uniformly distributed in the field.
The University of Missouri has a plant nematology lab that will test egg counts to see if nematode pressure is at threshold levels.