map for Soybean cyst nematode

Map showing prevalence of soybean cyst nematode. Red is most prevalent, and grey boxes are inconclusives.

Soybean cyst nematode is the biggest disease threat to soybeans in the nation, causing more than $1 billion in yield losses annually, and it is a pest that has been spreading rapidly in North Dakota.

Not only is it spreading, but it has also been adapting to genetic resistance used in most soybeans. If found early, this problem can be managed with appropriate rotation and resistant varieties, but if it is missed, it can rob a grower of yield for several years.

The North Dakota Soybean Council has once again agreed to help support the Soybean Cyst Nematode sampling program in 2020, which is helping to track the prevalence of the problem in North Dakota.

The SCN sampling program was begun in 2013 as part of a developing public-private partnership that grew between North Dakota State University Extension and various agriculture and extension programs in Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Several major agrochemical companies are now involved along with two dozen university and several soybean checkoff programs, in the SCN Coalition, which became more formalized in 2018.

NDSC will pay for up to 2,000 SCN-only soil samples as part of the 2020 program.

To qualify for this free test, growers must use the sampling bags that are being provided to county offices. These bags are pre-numbered, and pre-paid.

Growers must also fill out the yellow label on the bag, as well as the provided sample identification form, and submit them with the baag. This form will allow Agvis, which is analyzing the samples, to mail the results directly to the grower.

Also on the sample identification form is a spot for sample location. The data is only for showing prevalence by geography of the soybean cyst nematode. Names will not be publicized. The data will not be shared in any way that identifies individual growers.

Questions about the testing program may be directed to Kelly Leo, Williams County Agriculture and Natural Resource Extension Agent, either by email at or by phone at 701-577-4595.

Distribution of bags for the program is based on both soybean acreage and risk levels. the northwest corner of the state will receive 10 to 25 bags for these free tests.

The SCN Survey from 2013 to 2019 is color-coded to show the prevalence of soybean nematodes. On the map, red is the greatest concentration, while grey is inconclusive. Between 2013 and 2019, about 4,500 fields have been sampled through the program, which is also working to raise producer awareness of the soybean cyst nematode problem.

“Managing SCN requires a proactive strategy,” saysNDSU Extension’s agriculture and natural resources agent in Richland County Chandra Langseth. “Efforts by NDSU Extension and the North Dakota Soybean Council have increased awareness of SCN levels both on a field and regional scale. Collaborations with other regions is also key for SCN management in North Dakota. The SCN Coalition is a great example of a regional group working alongside farmers to develop the resources needed to best manage SCN.”

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