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Coalition combats soybean pest resistance

Source: Wikipedia

A coalition formed to combat the number one yield reducing pathogen revamps its message.

The SCN Coalition promotes, “Take the test, beat the pest,” and asks growers “What’s your number?” Greg Tylka, Iowa State University nematologist, says the Coalition’s catchphrase changed as soybean cyst nematodes became more resistant.

“Just like you use the same chemical herbicide for 20 years and a weed becomes resistant, our nematodes are becoming resistant. Yet, it’s not recognized as a problem because it’s a below ground problem,” Tylka said. “The new SCN Coalition (catchphrase) is “take the test, beat the pest with an added catchphrase that asks, “What’s your number?” Farmers need to test their fields, find out what their SCN numbers are and then monitor to make sure they’re keeping it under check.”

Growers most commonly combat SCN by growing different seed varieties. However, Tylka says growers encounter a new problem, as researchers find 97% of resistant soybeans contain the same genes.

“They have to seek out varieties with different sources of resistance than the common sources of resistance,” Tylka said. “They have to grow non-host crops like corn. There are other small grains that are non-host crops. We have at least seven new, different seed treatments farmers can buy to have put on the seed, to give added protection.”

Tylka adds the SCN Coalition does not endorse specific soybean varieties or seed treatments. However, it does encourage farmers to ask their local retailer about treatment options. The Coalition also advises growers to test their fields for SCN. Producers can gain a better understanding of the problem’s severity. The higher SCN population, the greater chances for yield loss.

For state-specific SCN management recommendations and resources, click here.