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Research Highlights

Research Highlights
Expanding the SCN Coalition: Resistance Management and Awareness Campaign

SCN Coalition panelist at a 2019 Commodity Classic Learning Center session hosted by Tyne Morgan of the U.S. Farm Report and sponsored by corporate partners of the SCN Coalition.

By A Public-Private Partnership of More than 30 Organizations, Led by North Dakota State University 

Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the most important yield-limiting biological threat to soybeans in the United States. Currently, genetic resistance is the primary tool used by soybean growers to manage SCN. However, the nematode is adapting to the genetic resistance found in approximately 95% of the SCN-resistant soybean varieties in the United States (PI88788), leaving many “SCN-resistant” soybean varieties vulnerable to yield loss from SCN. Furthermore, many growers are unaware of the ever-changing threat
posed by SCN, so they are not proactively preparing and could suffer additional yield loss in the future. 

Figure 1. “Take the test — beat the pest” logo of the SCN Coalition.

The objective of this project was to develop an SCN Resistance Management and Awareness campaign that would increase awareness of the evolving yield threat from SCN throughout the soybean-producer community. This would allow growers to prepare and act proactively, to minimize the currently increasing levels of yield loss among soybean crops. A public-private partnership called the second SCN Coalition was launched in February 2018 at the Commodity Classic, the largest farmer-led and farmer-focused trade show. The SCN Coalition now includes over two dozen universities, half a dozen private companies, many checkoff organizations (including USB) and several media partners. With financial and in-kind support (advertising/marketing) from both the soybean checkoff and industry partners, the SCN Coalition has worked to unify messaging and speak with one voice on how best to manage SCN as the nematode adapts
to genetic resistance (Figure 1). USB contributed $586,880 to this project in 2019. 

Since the launch, the SCN Coalition has developed a robust online resource center (www.thescncoalition.com), training tools, videos and animated graphics that describe the problems and possible solutions to the yield threat that is presented by SCN. Similarly, the SCN Coalition has worked to deliver this information to growers through trade shows, press conferences, news releases and other traditional and social media. Between the launch of the SCN Coalition and December 1, 2019, the SCN Coalition has generated over 3 million earned media impressions in the farm press.

The SCN Coalition was designed, and continues to work, to help prevent yield loss on all growers’ farms that are threatened by SCN. As a coalition of over 30 public and private partners (Figure 2), the strength of this unified messaging will provide soybean growers with the best information possible to manage SCN. Growers can see materials developed by the SCN Coalition being used by companies and universities across the country, which also provides peer support for prevention efforts. 

Figure 2. Public and private partners of the SCN Coalition.

Healthy and productive soybean crops are critical to many tens of thousands of growers in the United States, as well as the processors and end users who depend on those products. The SCN Coalition helps growers limit yield loss caused by SCN and SCN-related diseases, such as Sudden Death Syndrome, by delivering clear, consistent management information to help growers select the best management tools for their specific farm and growing conditions.

Figure 3. Pillars of SCN management supported by the SCN Coalition.

This project was funded by the soybean checkoff. To find research related to this research highlight or to see other checkoff research projects, please visit the National Soybean Checkoff Research Database.