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Valley Faces Soybean Cyst Nematode Threat

SCN could spread rapidly along the Red River and its tributaries.

The University of Minnesota has issued a warning about the spread of Soybean Cyst Nematode in the Red River Valley.

In 2004, 2005 and 2006 SCN was found in soil samples from Clay and Wilkin counties, in Minnesota and Richland and Cass counties in North Dakota.

SCN will likely spread quickly through the Red River Valley, says James Kurle, U of M plant pathologist.

One reason is spring flooding. The infested fields in Clay and Wilkin counties are located near tributaries of the Red River. Flood waters will carry SCN over a wide area.

Potato and sugarbeet production in the Red River Valley will likely spread SCN, too. SCN is most often distributed throughout the movement of residual soil on tillage and harvest equipment. Sugar beet and potato production practices necessitate the movement of equipment from field to field. In addition, the practice of mingling "tare" soil accumulated from many different fields, and then returning this soil to different fields increases the risk of moving SCN from infested to uninfested fields.

Continuous planting of susceptible soybean varieties or other susceptible crops, such as dry beans, which are common in the Red River Valley, will also accelerate the SCN buildup.

There is a very limited number of resistant soybean varieties available in early maturity groups.

SCN populations can increase as rapidly on some kidney bean varieties as they can on susceptible soybeans. Other classes of dry beans support significant SCN populations, too.

SCN can significantly reduce soybean yields, sometimes resulting is losses of up more than 30%.

To learn more, and for tips on how to slow the spread of SCN see the Web site, www.extension.umn.edu/cropenews/2007/07MNCN12.htm

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