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Research Highlights
‘Let’s Talk Todes’ Video Series Highlights New Tools to Combat SCN

 By the SCN Coalition

The SCN Coalition wants soybean growers to consider the impacts, if left unmanaged, soybean cyst nematode (SCN) can have on their bottom lines. SCN is the No. 1 yield-grabbing pest of the soybean crop in North America, and the Coalition recommends soybean growers work with an expert to develop a plan to actively manage SCN. 

A new collection of 10 short videos includes best management practices for farmers who are battling SCN. “Let’s Talk Todes” includes discussions with growers, scientists and soybean checkoff leaders as they share information about new tools and practices that can help battle SCN.

Iowa State University Nematologist Greg Tylka says SCN is considered to be the most damaging pathogen, in part, because the most common source of resistance known as PI 88788 isn’t as effective as it once was. “SCN thrives in the soil and takes food away from the soybean plant,” he says. “It’s also widely distributed and continues to spread where soybeans are grown.” 

In the video “SCN is North America’s Most Damaging Soybean Pathogen,” Tylka explains why soybean growers need to consider the economic impacts of SCN. 

“Don’t be complacent. The nematode doesn’t actively spread itself; it’s spread by anything that moves soil,” he adds. “It’s spreading within states where it’s well established like Iowa and Illinois, and more recently moved into areas of the Upper Midwest like North Dakota.” 

North Dakota State University Plant Pathologist Sam Markell encourages growers to test for SCN so its spread can be tracked. “If we find it, we need to manage it, and we can learn from the situation in states like Iowa,” he said. “Growers will benefit by incorporating varieties with the Peking source of SCN resistance into their rotation. This can translate into yield benefits in areas where PI 88788 is not as effective.”

The video “SCN Resistant Variety Selection is Crucial” growers are encouraged to talk to a trusted expert such as a seed representative, crop consultant or extension specialist, to determine if they are using an effective source of SCN resistance and rotating those sources.

University of Missouri Plant Pathologist Kaitlyn Bissonnette explain why the SCN-resistant soybean variety a soybean grower selects can greatly impact their bottom line. 

“Growers need to ask what source of SCN resistance they are using and make sure they rotate to another source of resistance to keep the nematode guessing,” she says. “Studies show after using PI 88788 for decades, it isn’t as effective as it once was in many fields. That’s why growers need to more actively manage SCN and take the first step and test their soil for SCN, if they haven’t already done so, to know which fields are problematic.” 

Other videos in the series include:

About The SCN Coalition 

The SCN Coalition is a public/checkoff/private partnership formed to increase the number of farmers who are actively managing SCN. Our goal is to increase soybean farmers’ profit potential and realize higher yields. Partners in The SCN Coalition include university scientists from 28 states and Ontario, grower checkoff organizations including the North Central Soybean Research Program, United Soybean Board and several state soybean promotion boards, and corporate partners including BASF, Bayer, Growmark, Nufarm, Pioneer (Corteva), Syngenta, Valent and Winfield United.