Practical Reasearch Drives Profitable Performance

Seed Treatment Counters SCN Resistance

Some microscopic juvenile soybean cyst nematodes now have the ability to invade the roots of SCN-resistant varieties with PI 88788, a resistant source used in a majority of the SCN-resistant varieties, Image by Beck’s

This advertorial series highlights Beck’s Practical Farm Research and agronomy conducted over multiple states to help farmers improve profitability.

Managing soybean cyst nematode (SCN) used to be fairly routine. Just plant SCN-resistant varieties in rotation with corn or other non-host crops in SCN-infested fields.

But as with just about everything in nature--think weeds and diseases--those pesky worm-like parasites are developing resistance to the very tools developed to control them. “Resistant SCN populations are already showing up in several states and farmers are losing yield as a result,” says Jim Schwartz, citing an Iowa State University report. Schwartz is Director of Practical Farm Research and Agronomy at Beck’s.

“Just as with weeds, we over relied on one solution--SCN-resistant soybean varieties--to fight SCN,” says Schwartz. “The solution,” he adds, “is the same as in weed control--fight the pest with multiple modes of action.”


Another mode of action farmers can put into the fight immediately is seed treatments. They can provide added protection when used with a SCN-resistant soybean variety.

Beck’s provides farmers with the option to add a broad-spectrum nematicide, Nemasect™, as well as control of sudden death syndrome (SDS) and suppression of white mold, to their base seed treatment, Escalate. Soybean cyst nematode, SDS and white mold are three of the biggest yield-robbers in soybeans.

“Nemasect, along with the components for SDS and white mold have a 2.9 Bu./A yield advantage versus a standard fungicide and insecticide,” says Schwartz, citing two years of field trials at multiple locations.

Part of Nemasect’s effectiveness is that it works quickly, within 24 to 48 hours, and impacts nematode populations for up to 60 days.

“Nemasect actually kills the nematodes--it’s not just a protective barrier,” he explains. In addition, Nemasect adds another mode of action to Escalate’s control of other soil insects, including white grub, wireworm and seed corn maggot.

While Nemasect is tough on soil insects and nematodes, “it’s safe to handle and safe for the environment,” says Schwartz, noting that it’s a biological.


One of the challenges when fighting SCN is that it can reduce yields without any visible above-ground symptoms. “It’s known as the silent killer,” explains Schwartz. The pest’s below-ground damage has made it the most damaging pathogen of soybeans in the United States since the mid-1990s, he notes, citing an Iowa State University report.

During that time, SCN has spread across the nation to the point that “anywhere soybeans are grown, SCN is likely somewhere in that county,” says Schwartz.

Looking back, he says it’s regrettable the industry relied so much on one source of resistance (PI 88788) in soybean varieties to control SCN. But with the widespread availability of soybean varieties with PI 88788 and its effectiveness in controlling SCN reproduction, he says it’s understandable why it happened.

Since the early 1990s, over 90 percent of SCN-resistant soybean varieties were developed with PI 88788. And now, PI 88788 is showing reduced efficacy on SCN reproduction in many fields. “We’re early in this battle,” adds Schwartz. “We’ll develop more sophisticated products and strategies.

“Right now, it’s important for farmers to have access to a treatment that can help them not only fight SCN, but SDS and white mold,” he continues. “That’s why we’re offering a treatment package that controls nematodes, protects against SDS and has suppression against white mold.”


You can hear more about SCN by listening to the Practical Research Drives Profitable Performance podcast at:…


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