Soybean producers and farm managers have several great resources available to help with variety selection for fields infested with soybean cyst nematode (SCN).
In 2010, the Nebraska Soybean Board funded a project to provide a standard evaluation platform for the most common soybean varieties grown in Nebraska in SCN infested fields. The goal of this project is to help producers identify soybean varieties that yield well, yet do not allow significant reproduction of SCN. That’s right — even though soybean varieties are marketed as resistant, they can vary in their effects on SCN populations by influencing reproduction differently. The 2010 results from this Nebraska program are available at http://pdc.unl.edu/agriculturecrops/soybean/soybeancystnematode and the 2011 data will be available by the end of the year.
Iowa State University also performs SCN variety evaluation on commercial varieties. Results can be found at: http://www.plantpath.iastate.edu/dept/labs/tylka/node/23. Their list of soybean cyst nematode-resistant soybean varieties is available at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/CropNews/2011/1021tylka.htm.
If you’re not sure whether you have SCN and your soybean yields were lower than expected, please take advantage of the free soil testing service that is being funded through the Nebraska Soybean Board. Soil bags for this program can be picked up at your local UNL extension office or by contacting me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your return mailing address and the number of sample bags you would like to receive.
SCN continues to be the most yield robbing disease of soybean in Nebraska, costing producers an average of 5-6 bu/ac when susceptible soybeans are grown on infested fields.