UNL CropWatch Feb. 11, 2011 2011 SCN ’Tode Awards Announced

UNL CropWatch Feb. 11, 2011 2011 SCN ’Tode Awards Announced

Feb. 11, 2011

The recent arctic blast 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, the most devastating pest to soybean growers in Nebraska and the U.S.

SCN was identified in two new Nebraska counties in 2010: Clay and Dawson

Last year SCN caused $25 million in lost yields statewide and $1 billion nationally.

Farmers can reduce these losses if they know they have SCN in their fields, but that’s the catch. Fields can suffer losses of 20-30% with no visible plant symptoms. The best way to determine if SCN is in a field is to take a soil test.

Soybean Board Sponsors SCN Screening

The Nebraska Soybean Board recognizes the serious threat posed by SCN and is helping sponsor a program with UNL to encourage farmers to sample for SCN. The Board’s support covers the cost of analyzing soil samples for SCN, normally a $20/sample expense.

SCN Survey Results

We just completed the sixth year of this project with some staggering results. Since 2005, over 3,200 samples have been submitted. During this period SCN was identified in 25 Nebraska counties for the first time. This almost doubles the number of counties where SCN had been confirmed in the previous 19 years. SCN has now been identified in 52 counties that produce almost 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 2010, 543 samples were submitted and 184 (33.9%) were positive for SCN. This was the highest percentage of positive samples since the project began. Based on the 2010 results, our panel of judges has identified the 2011 ’Tode Awards winners in the following categories:

Most Samples Submitted (Number)

Winner: Lancaster County (47)
Honorable Mention: Dodge County (39), Saunders County (34), Sarpy County (31)

Most SCN Positive Samples (Number)

Winner: Dodge County (20)
Honorable Mention: Seward County (18), Lancaster County (15), Platte County (11)

Most Samples Positive for SCN (%)
(Must have submitted at least five samples)

Winner: Antelope County (78%)
Honorable Mention: Platte County (65%), Seward County (60%), Madison County (60%)

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

Winner: Antelope County (17,160)
Honorable Mention: Polk County (10,080), Pierce County (9,760), Madison County (7,200)

Counties with First SCN Detection

Winners: Clay and Dawson

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 locally so they can sample their fields and start managing it where necessary.

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

John Wilson
Extension Educator, Burt County

Loren Giesler
Extension Plant Pathologist