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Seeking participants for soybean cyst nematode survey

Article cover photo
Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is found in every Iowa county. The Iowa Soybean Association is looking for farmers to participate in their annual SCN survey. (Photo: Rich Stessman/Iowa Soybean Association)

By Carol Brown, ISA communications specialist

A common problem for Iowa farmers is the soybean cyst nematode (SCN), which researchers have determined to exist in every Iowa county. The Iowa Soybean Association’s (ISA) On-Farm Network® team has surveyed fields for SCN for the last five years across the state to determine infestation levels and what control methods are most effective in controlling this pest.

The On-Farm Network is looking for farmers to participate in the SCN survey again this fall.

 “We would like to conduct SCN sampling in up to 80 fields across Iowa this year,” said Rich Stessman, On-Farm Network operations manager. “Sampling will be conducted in the fall, near or after harvest. Even if previous samples didn’t show a problem, continuous monitoring is important to catch issues early.”

The survey includes collecting two soil core samples from each field: a GPS-marked point sample and a composite sample representing a broad area of the field. Farmers can use the information the research team gathers on their farm to make management decisions to reduce the presence of SCN in their fields. The aggregated survey results will help the research team as they prepare to test additional control products and strategies in the coming years.

This survey work for SCN builds on ISA efforts over the past five years. Researchers at ISA and others have confirmed that SCN exists in 75 to 85 percent of fields statewide. In some situations, infestations are intensifying, and control methods are strained, Stessman said. Continuing efforts by the On-Farm Network allows the team to evaluate the efficacy of genetic resistance and other control methods.

Farmers who would like to participate in the survey can download, complete and send the enrollment form to their ISA regional agronomist or to

For more information on soybean cyst nematode research:

Contact Carol Brown at

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For media inquiries, permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos, please contact Katie James, ISA Public Relations Manager at © 2020 Iowa Soybean Association. All rights reserved.

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