Minnesota soybean growers have been fighting soybean cyst nematode (SCN) since 1978 when it was first confirmed in the south central counties bordering Iowa. That battle has now extended into northwestern Minnesota
and the Dakotas. The expansion and growth of soybean production in these northern areas favors the establishment and expansion of this pest and the subsequent negative effects they have on plant growth and yield.
All soybean growers are encouraged to sample fields for SCN to determine whether they are present and at what population levels in order to make appropriate management decisions. Farmers in NW MN need to get
Recent surveys in the northern production areas have promoted awareness of SCN to growers who have not managed this pest in the past. The surveys have verified new county records, identified suitable field
sites for SCN resistant variety evaluation, and provided SCN infestations for use to educate growers on identification and scouting. Information lacking from these limited surveys is the percent of fields with SCN
and the population levels when they are found.
The UMN Extension faculty in NW MN has received funding from the MN Soybean Research and Promotion Council to conduct these recent surveys. A 2012 survey is taking a different approach. The expansion of SCN
that was found in North Dakota with their 2011 survey suggests that infestations are likely present the length of the valley. It is time to move beyond the role of confirming counties and encouraging growers to
begin sampling fields and establishing some baseline knowledge of SCN.
With this in mind, the 2012 survey looks to get farmers more involved and expand the level of information of the extent and severity of SCN in the region. This season the program is being set up to provide SCN
soil test kits to farmers for them to sample field sites that they wonder whether SCN is present.
Funding has been received to pay the fees for a number of survey sponsored samples. The program will receive a volume discount from the diagnostic lab.
A requirement of submitting the program sponsored sample will be the sharing of the results with the UMN Extension faculty coordinating the survey. UMN Extension will not receive the name of the submitter, only the
SCN count and a geo-referenced descriptor of either the legal or latitude-longitude coordinates.
The geo-referenced data allows the creation of a regional map that will help illustrate the expansion of SCN and provide insight into seriousness of the problem at the field level.
If you wish to get involved in this effort and would like to receive soil test kits later this summer, send your name, address and the number of field samples you would like to submit and/or questions to
Phillip Glogoza at email@example.com or call him at 218-236-2008 to find out more.