An ideal program to manage soybean cyst nematode (SCN) infestations should integrate the following: detection through scouting and sampling procedures and crop rotations utilizing nonhost crops and SCN-resistant soybean varieties. Maintaining proper soil fertility and pH, managing other soybean diseases and pests, and proper planting methods also help to keep plants vigorous and better able to buffer the effects of SCN. The most effective management systems have and will continue to involve integrated approaches. No single method will manage SCN as effectively.
The success story of managing SCN has been the use of resistant varieties. Twenty years ago, only a small number of varieties that resisted SCN were available. Today, through the efforts of public and private soybean breeders, this list has expanded to approximately 530 lines adaptable to Illinois and available for the 1999 growing season. Marion Shier, Crops Systems Educator, Livingston County, compiles yearly a list of public and private varieties resistant to SCN. All varieties include a listing by maturity group and relative maturity within the groupings; a coding system that designates companies making the variety available; and a listing of race resistance and source of resistance for each variety. The Illinois Checkoff Board has published this listing in booklet form, and free copies may be obtained by contacting:
The Illinois Soybean Checkoff Board
1605 Commerce Parkway
Bloomington, IL 61704
Resistant varieties are the foundation for IPM approaches in managing SCN as well as other plant diseases. Some distinct advantages of using host resistance are that the pest control is purchased with the seed, it is compatible with other management practices, it has few adverse effects on the environment, and the cost is minimal in most cases.--Dale I. Edwards