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Soil samples provide best view of SCN density

Although soybean roots can be examined for soybean cyst nematode females during the growing season, the best estimate of SCN densities is achieved through a good soil sample.

After the crop is off and prior to field work is an ideal time to sample fields slated for soybeans in the upcoming growing season.

A few key points about soil sampling:

  • A soil probe is the ideal sampling tool although a trowel can be used
  • Limit area sampled to approximately 20 acres
  • Samples should consist of about 20 cores taken in a zig zag pattern throughout the field, to a depth of 6 to 8 inches
  • Combine and mix samples thoroughly, placing 1 pt of soil into a soil sample or plastic bag
  • Properly label sample bag
  • If sample cannot be sent immediately, store in refrigerator
  • Do not expose samples to direct sunlight for an extended time

Although soybean roots can be examined for soybean cyst nematode females during the growing season, the best estimate of SCN densities is achieved through a good soil sample.

Once a farm is known to be infested with SCN, proper crop rotation and soybean variety selection will be needed to manage the pest. When a field is infested with SCN, factors other than yield, such as level of SCN resistance and the source of resistance, should be considered.

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