SCN risks increase in hot and dry soils

The SCN Coalition has produced a video series “Let’s Talk Todes” to help farmers better manage soybean cyst nematode in dry years.

The SCN Coalition wants soybean growers to understand the risks associated with higher population densities of soybean cyst nematode (SCN) during hot and dry growing seasons, like many faced during 2020. 

“Weather can have a tremendous impact on soybean cyst nematode reproduction,” says Greg Tylka, Iowa State University nematologist. In a new video series titled “Let’s Talk Todes”, Tylka and Sam Markell, North Dakota State University plant pathologist, discuss how weather impacts SCN reproduction. 

“We have data verifying that SCN is worse in hot, dry years,” says Tylka. “It’s not just because plants are stressed from drought but also because the nematode is reproducing much quicker, raising population densities.” 

Unfortunately, the life cycle of soybean cyst nematode speeds up during drought-like conditions. “We don’t know the mechanism of it, but reproduction happens much more quickly, creating more generations in a single growing season, which ultimately leads to higher egg counts during fall soil sampling,” adds Tylka. “In areas impacted by drought with a traditional corn-soybean rotation, I would expect that in 2022, many of the fields that grew soybeans this year would have increased levels of SCN and increased yield loss.” 

Take the Test

Coalition experts encourage soybean growers to test soil for SCN so they know their number and can start an active management strategy. State-specific advice is available by visiting the SCN Coalition's web page. Click on “Recommendations” and select your state in the “Coalition Experts” section. 

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