The United Soybean Board has released information for soybean farmers to mitigate and prevent damage from soybean cyst nematode (SCN), it announced on Thursday.
The board says this kind of nematode infection can remain in soil for several years, and a cyst is capable of producing approximately 100 eggs. Farmers should beware of any root system weakness and poor nodulation, uneven growth patterns and lower than usual beans or pods produced. Farmers should also look to see if any white cysts are appearing on the root system.
The board suggests that to prevent infection from SCN present in the field, farmers should participate in crop rotation and use treated seeds that are resistant to SCN.
They state that an SCN infection is difficult to determine from surface plants alone, and they suggest that if yields are lower than expected farmers should have their soil and root tissue analyzed by a laboratory.
Michigan State University Professor of Nematology George Bird states that SCN is the top disease among soybean crops and has resulted in approximately 100 million lost bushels annually in the U.S.
Those that do not have infestations are encouraged to undertake strict prevention measures in order to prevent infestation.
"SCN can be transported into your field by irrigation water, wind, and rain as well as on your equipment," Bird said. "Washing your equipment before moving into your high-yielding fields can help reduce the risk of transporting SCN."