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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


Fall is the Best Time to Sample for Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN)

Soybean Cyst Nematode

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) remains the most economically damaging soybean pathogen in North America. If SCN levels are above damage threshold, significant yield reduction can often take place without visible symptoms. To know if the nematode is present in a field, soil sample for SCN testing must be properly collected. The presence of SCN in a field, but most importantly, the SCN numbers will determine the best management strategy. Therefore, you need to test your fields to know your SCN numbers.  

If you do not know you have SCN in your field, then fall is the best time to sample for SCN. If you know you have SCN but want to track its levels, then fall is the best time to sample for SCN. If you are planning to collect samples for soil fertility, a subsample can be used for SCN testing! After harvest, a soil test will reveal if SCN is present and at what levels. Knowing your SCN numbers in fall will give enough time to plan for next year and to identify the best management practices [learn more on SCN management here and here].

Figure 1. Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) on soybean roots [left and center] and SCN eggs and second-stage juvenile (infective) [right].

We are excited to continue sampling soybean fields in Ohio to test for SCN with funding from the Ohio Soybean Council and The SCN Coalition. Fall is a great time to sample for SCN and we are excited to help with this task by processing up to TWO soil samples, per grower, to be tested for SCN, free of charge. For more information on how to sample for SCN and where to send these samples, please visit our article: ‘Collect Fall Soil Samples for SCN.’ Additionally, BASF Agricultural Solutions is also offering free SCN testing kits throughout the month of October. Learn more about this opportunity here.

Growers will decide how they want to collect these samples, but we suggest collecting one sample from a low and one from a high yielding area. Download and complete this Soil Sample Submission Form and mail your samples to:

OSU Soybean Pathology and Nematology Lab

Attn: Horacio Lopez-Nicora, Ph.D.

110 Kottman Hall

2021 Coffey Rd. 

Columbus, Ohio 43210

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.