The soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the most damaging pathogen of soybean in North America. To combat the disease, BASF Agricultural Solutions and The SCN Coalition have designated October as SCN Action Month to provide growers with the information needed to make sound, successful agronomic decisions to defend against this devastating pest.
SCN is present in nearly all soybean-growing geographies and continues to spread. Damage is caused when nematodes enter plant roots and establish feeding sites that steal nutrients and water from the plant, ultimately reducing yield potential. Because the damage occurs below ground, nematodes can cause up to a 30% loss in soybean yield without any visible signs of plant damage.
To help prevent yield lost, BASF Agricultural Solutions and The SCN Coalition will provide resources throughout October for growers to arm them with the agronomic know-how needed to effectively manage SCN. BASF wants farmers to “grow in the know” and will give away a free soil test kit to the first 500 growers who request one online by October 31. If growers test their soil and mail it to the BASF-approved lab postmarked by November 15, BASF will cover up to $20 of the costs of the lab test.
“There are an estimated 60 million soybean acres in the U.S. that are impacted by SCN or other nematodes, yet less than one-fourth of those acres are being protected with a seed treatment nematicide,” said Jeremiah Mullock, BASF Agricultural Solutions Product Manager, Seed Treatment. “The goal of SCN Action Month is to educate and encourage growers to take a proactive approach to SCN management. We know SCN is widespread. If growers need a ‘seeing is believing’ approach, testing their soil for nematodes is the best option to uncover the threat for yield loss.”
In addition to the free soil test kits, BASF and The SCN Coalition will publish videos and guides for growers on the site throughout the month to help them prepare to proactively manage their soybean fields against SCN going forward.
“Soil testing is the foundational element for managing SCN,” said Greg Tylka, Iowa State University nematologist and spokesperson for The SCN Coalition. “Once SCN is detected, it will always be there at some level. It might be 3 or 4 bushels per acre, or it might be 23 or 24 bushels per acre. But you won’t know until you test your soil.”
At the end of the month, BASF will follow up with growers who have tested their soil to reveal their results and assist with a management plan for their next growing season.