Four UNL Extension field days will reveal what soybean growers need to know about soybean cyst nematodes and the damage they can cause to soybeans.
Soybean cyst nematodes cost Nebraska soybean producers millions of dollars in reduced yields each year, says John Wilson, Extension educator in Burt County. The problem is that soybean cyst nematodes often have no visible symptoms and go undetected.
"Yield losses of 20 to 30% have been documented in the state with no above-ground symptoms on the plant," he explains. "The first indication of the problem is soybean yields that have leveled off or even started to drop while corn and other crop yields in the same field continue to improve."
Twenty years ago, soybean cyst nematodes were only found in eastern Nebraska along the Missouri River. Today, the nematodes have been identified in 34 Nebraska counties with high counts being reported as far west as Kearney.
The field days are designed to teach producers to identify and manage soybean cyst nematodes infestations, says Loren Giesler, UNL plant pathologist. Participants will see soybean cyst nematode-resistant and susceptible soybean varieties and examine cysts on infested soybean plant roots. They also will receive a free kit for one soybean cyst nematodes analysis.
"If SCN caused holes, lesions, spots or other plant abnormalities, it would be much easier to convince producers to test for and manage it," Giesler says. "However, infested plants often look healthy. Soybean cyst nematodes have earned the title of the silent yield robber."
Dates, times and locations for the field days include:
- Aug. 9 - , Kenny Reinke farm, from Neligh go 5.5 miles north on Highway 14, turn into farmstead on west side of highway.
- Aug. 10 - , Vaughn Gross-Rhode farm, from North Bend go 2.5 miles north on Highway 79, 2.5 miles east on County Road Q.
- Aug. 21 - 10 a.m., Rex Lukow farm, from Holstein Junction on Highway 6 go five miles south on Holstein Avenue, one mile east on Assumption Road, one-fourth mile south on Wanda Avenue.
- Aug. 23 - , Mark Caspers farm, from Auburn go five miles south on Highway 75, 3 miles west on 724 Road, one-eighth mile south on 736 Avenue.
For more information, contact a local UNL Extension office.