$50 million- that’s a conservative estimate from Purdue University on the damage done each year in Indiana by the soybean cyst nematode. 2019 weather could potentially increase that damage.
Kaitlyn Bissonnette is an assistant professor at the University of Missouri and their state field crop pathologist. Missouri experienced far more flooding than Indiana this year, but we still had our fair share of flooded fields and water movement.
“Water movement actually has a lot of impact on soybean cyst nematode because the cysts where the eggs are contained can actually float and move with soil particles from field to field and across fields. So, that means that they can pool in other areas and shift where they are in a certain part of the field or move to a new field.”
Bissonnette says the best way to find out if you have an SCN problem is to conduct an SCN soil test.
“Generally, we recommend you test about every 3 to 5 years, each field. So, it’s not necessarily every field needs to be tested every year. So, figuring out a rotated schedule for every field to test in about 10 to 20-acre segments, if need be up to 40-acre segments, however small you can make it, the more accurate that test will be.”
Bissonnette did say that tools for managing SCN are getting better. For the longest time, farmers have only had non-host crops to rotate to and the utilization of resistant varieties.
“Now we have some new tools in the toolbox which include seed treatments…some things coming down the pipeline which include gene stacking technology, which is some university research that is being conducted. So, we have some things that are coming along that can be utilized in the future as well as today. We don’t just have two things anymore.”
A Purdue study released in 2017 said SCN had been reported in at least 89 Indiana counties, and the authors estimated that 45% of fields in Indiana might be infested with SCN.