Tackling The Tag-Team of SCN and SDS

This SCN Action Month is focused on encouraging growers to “Grow in the Know” by taking a proactive approach to soybean cyst nematode (SCN) management.

As part of that effort, Nick Tinsley, field rep for BASF, talks about two very uninvited guests that like to show up in soybean fields together – SCN and SDS (Sudden Death Syndrome).

Many soybean growers faced a drought and may not have thought to scout for SDS, a disease that thrives on wet, cool temperatures. But that doesn’t mean they won’t have SDS issues.

“Even when we don’t see those showy above ground symptoms of SDS, we know that that pathogen is still out there and can still infect plants below ground and cause yield loss. And we also know that those hot, dry conditions are definitely going to favor SCN which can in turn make SDS worse.” 

Tinsley says hot weather can lead to more SCN reproduction.

“The weather that many growers experienced this year likely led to more SCN reproduction, that is something that we definitely see under hot conditions. And really the compound impact of both SCN and SDS on soybean roots has been shown to increase the severity of SDS later in the growing season.” 

He explains the best way to get to the bottom of this double threat.

“So, while SDS can certainly develop without the presence of SCN and vice versa in that regard, I think it’s always best to be prepared. And, really, a great first step growers can take to be proactive is to take soil samples this fall.” 

He says soil sampling is the best way to assess SCN in your fields.

“It’s the only way that growers can get a clear picture of what their current SCN status is before the next growing season. And knowing those population numbers is going to help growers make key management decisions, such as the need for crop rotation, resistant varieties, and of course seed treatments.”

Soil testing is the way to go to plan for SCN. BASF is giving away a free soil test kit to the first 500 growers to request one by October 31. Terms and conditions apply. For more information on the free soil test kits, visit SCNACTIONMONTH.COM.