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SCN soil test should determine egg count

The head of the SCN Coalition’s diagnostics lab says fall is the best time to test the soil for Soybean Cyst Nematode. Kaitlyn Bissonnette, field crop pathologist with the University of Missouri, says she believes getting an egg count back from the lab instead of a cyst count is a better indicator of what’s going on in the soil.

“The number of eggs per cyst will vary and so the number of eggs in the soil will actually tell you how many possible infections could occur, if you will.”

She says SCN is tricky because it can often occur alongside other soybean diseases, like Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS), especially in the Midwest.

“Soybean Cyst Nematode is not required for Sudden Death Syndrome to occur. However, when Sudden Death Syndrome and Soybean Cyst Nematode are both present in the same field, Sudden Death Syndrome symptoms are often more severe.” And Bissonnette says management will be needed for both if widespread.

The SCN Coalition has partnered with BASF for “Grow in the Know” to provide free soil test kits during October and some states offer free testing. Soybean Cyst Nematode is the number one yield robber of soybeans. Soil testing, crop rotation, and seed treatments are recommended for management.

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