3rd Annual 'Tode Awards Announced; SCN Test Results Take Center Stage

3rd Annual 'Tode Awards Announced; SCN Test Results Take Center Stage

SCN Newly Identified in Hall and Nuckolls Counties

Soybean cyst nematode


(Left) Adult female SCN on infected soybean root (Courtesy of G. Tylka, Iowa State University); Cysts of varying maturity (dark brown is fully matured cyst).

For more information on testing, identification, and management of soybean cyst nematode, see NebGuide G1383.

The snowstorm last weekend provided the perfect opportunity for the 'Tode Awards Committee to meet, review the nominees, and select this year's winners. These awards are given to counties for their work in sampling for soybean cyst nematodes (SCN), the most devastating pest to soybean growers in Nebraska and the U.S. Last year SCN cost Nebraska farmers $30 million in lost yields. Nationally, growers lost over $1 billion.

These losses can be reduced if farmers know SCN is in their fields, but there's the catch. Farmers can have yield losses of 20%-30% with no visible symptoms on the plant. The best way to determine if SCN is in a field is to take a soil test.

The Nebraska Soybean Board recognized what a serious problem SCN was and to increase statewide testing, they have funded a project with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to encourage farmers to sample their fields. Their support covers the cost of analyzing soil samples for SCN, normally $20 per sample.

We just completed the seventh year of this project with some staggering results. Since 2005, over 3,800 samples have been submitted and SCN has been identified in 27 Nebraska counties for the first time. This doubles the number of counties where SCN had been confirmed over the previous 19 years. SCN has now been identified in 54 counties that produce over 90% of Nebraska's soybeans.

Without the Nebraska Soybean Board's support, we would not have been able to reach this many Nebraska farmers. In 2011, 636 samples were submitted and 196 (30.8%) were positive for SCN. From these results, our panel of judges has identified the following 3rd Annual 'Tode
Awards winners:

Most Samples Submitted

Winner: Buffalo County (77)
Honorable Mention: Seward County (50)
Dodge County (43)
Douglas County (36)

Most Samples Positive for SCN

Winner: Dodge County (31)
Honorable Mention: Seward County (28)
Buffalo County (16)
Saunders County (11)

Most Samples (%) Positive for SCN (must have submitted at least 5 samples)

Winner: Dodge County (72%)
Honorable Mention: Pierce County (67%)
Seward County (56%)
Douglas County (54%)

Sample with Highest Egg Count (# eggs/100 ccs of soil)

Winner: Cuming County (46,960)
Honorable Mention: Pierce County (31,840)
Polk County (16,280)
Butler County (16,160)

And finally, in the category of

Counties with First SCN Detection

Winners: Hall and Nuckolls counties

Some might argue that the counties in the last category are losers, not winners. However, now farmers in those counties know SCN has been found in local fields so they can sample for it and start managing it if found in their fields. So they really are winners.

Although it often goes undetected, SCN is here and it is reducing the profitability for Nebraska soybean producers. To learn more about SCN or to pick up bags to submit soil samples from your fields, contact your local UNL Extension office.

John Wilson
Extension Educator, Burt County
Loren Giesler
Extension Plant Pathologist, Lincoln