A very small insect is causing big trouble in Iowa’s soybean fields and it’s spreading quickly across the continent. The soybean cyst nematode or SCN is being tracked in a survey throughout the United States and Canada every few years. SCN Coalition co-leader and Iowa State University Extension plant pathologist Greg Tylka says the destructive bug has traveled far since 2017.
As odd as it may sound, he says the most common way they believe the tiny bugs are being transported from field to field and from farm to farm is by the wind, specifically in blowing dirt.
“It’s tiny and it very easily can be in soil particles that are blown.” The soybean cyst nematode causes a lot of costly damage.
Tylka says another reason there’s been more detection of SCN is that his coalition is encouraging producers to do more sample testing. He says one way to get a handle on the insect is by properly rotating crops.