July through August is a good time to check soybean fields for soybean cyst nematodes (SCN), the most devastating pest for soybean growers. Yield losses of 25-30% have been documented in fields with no visible injury on the soybean plants.
Taking quality soil samples to test for SCN is part science and part art. The science is in how the samples are taken, while the art is in where they're taken to capture the best snapshot of SCN conditions. You'll want to consider these recommendations for getting the most from your SCN sampling this fall.
The easiest and least expensive way to improve profitability for many soybean growers in tight economic times, or any time, is to sample fields for soybean cyst nematodes (SCN). In Nebraska trials growers realized an average six-bushel-per-acre soybean yield increase after taking no-cost steps to manage SCN.
Soybean cyst nematode is estimated to cause $40 million in lost soybean yields annually in Nebraska. Soil tests, available free through a program funded by the Nebraska Soybean Board, can help growers identify where this nemesis is a problem so they can manage that field accordingly.
Mid-summer is an effective time to scout for soybean cyst nematode (SCN) using either the visual or soil test method. This story describes both methods. If SCN is identified, a follow-up soil test approximately six years later can help assess effectiveness of treatment efforts as well as identify SCN resistance.