"The exact amount of increased profit in any given year will
vary depending on the current price of soybeans," said Terry
Niblack, professor of cyst nematode management in the Department
of Crop Sciences at the U of I. "In 2004, the amount ranged from
about $85 dollar to nearly $115 per acre based on results from
three different parts of the state."
She points out that those
numbers resulted from a comparison between the highest-yielding
resistant varieties matched to the SCN population in the field
and lower-yielding varieties that were also highly resistant but
not matched to a particular SCN population.
"It is important to note that this method will not work for
everyone," Niblack said. "It is effective only when the SCN
pressure in a field is high. Another requirement is that SCN-resistant
varieties have been grown in that field in the past because that
is what allows the nematodes to adapt to the source of
For growers who meet the criteria, the system requires only a
few relatively simple steps to cash in on the increased profits.
The first step is to take a soil sample from an individual
field. Details on the proper procedures for taking a sample and
preparing it for shipment are available on the website for the
Plant Health Initiative at
The samples can then be submitted to the nematology lab at
the U of I for an SCN type test. The mailing address is
Nematology Lab, Department of Crop Sciences, AW101 Turner Hall,
University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.
"We will do an egg count first," Niblack said. "If the level
is less than 3,000 eggs per 100 cubic centimeters of soil, then
no further tests will be conducted. In such a case, the field
does not meet the criteria for the system to work."
Samples that pass the first step are then analyzed to
determine the exact SCN type in a field. This greenhouse
procedure takes a minimum of 30 days to complete.
The cost is $20 for the egg count and $50 for the SCN type
test. The final amount is billed directly to the person
submitting the sample.
[to top of second column in this article]
"Once the test is completed, the next step is for growers to select
one of the highest-yielding varieties with high resistance to the
type of nematodes in a specific field," Niblack said. "That
information is readily available on the website for the Varietal
Information Program for Soybeans, which is more commonly referred to
VIPS serves as a tool for the analysis of the performance of
soybean varieties. Funding for the site is provided by the Illinois
Soybean Checkoff Board.
"VIPS provides a wide range of information on most of the soybean
varieties included in the U of I's variety trials conducted from
1998 to the present," Niblack said. "Included in the variety
comparisons is information on yields and protein and oil content, as
well as resistance to various SCN types."
She notes that the site at
www.vipsoybeans.org provided performance data for more than 850
varieties from 72 seed companies in 2004. The latest results are
posted each year during the month of November.
"By following those steps, growers who meet the criteria can
easily cash in with improved yields in their fields," Niblack. "The
final step in the process is as simple as depositing the increased
profits in the bank."
[News release from the
University of Illinois College
of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences]