Fall is prime time to sample fields for SCN
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The soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is an extremely damaging and widespread pest of soybean in Iowa. The nematode infests more than 70 percent of the fields statewide. However, SCN usually causes no obvious aboveground symptoms for many years after being introduced into a field. Consequently, many SCN-infested fields in Iowa have not been diagnosed. The lack of symptoms and subsequent missed diagnosis are unfortunate because the key to effective management of SCN is early detection, before large nematode population densities develop. Large nematode population densities can cause severe damage to soybean crops, especially in very dry years, a situation that is occurring in eastern and southeastern Iowa this year.