Michigan State University Partner

SCN in Michigan: 

  • It is the most important soybean pathogen in Michigan and soybean is an important crop in Michigan.
  • The most important tool to manage SCN in Michigan is resistant varieties (PI 88788) and it is no longer working as effectively because 94% of SCN populations have an elevated reproduction (> 10%) on PI 88788. 

SCN Distribution 

SCN Management Recommendations

There are multiple tactics for managing SCN:

  • Test soil and know SCN numbers and SCN type (ability to reproduce on a source of resistance).
  • Have good sanitation practices (prevent soil movement) if a field does not have SCN (prevention).
  • Rotate with non-host crops such as corn, wheat, and most non-leguminous crops.
  • Rotate sources of resistance (i.e. Peking and PI 88788).
  • Promote soil health with inputs such as manures applied during years of non-host rotations (i.e. corn or wheat), non-host cover crops.
  • Consider using seed treatments.

Soil testing tips:

Farmers in soybean producing areas of Michigan can receive free SCN diagnosis, thanks to farmer checkoff funds from the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee. 

  1. Use a cylindrical soil probe to collect samples.
  2. Collect samples at a depth of 6-8 inches deep making sure to sample in the row.
  3. Collect 20 samples in a zigzag pattern. Place the samples in a plastic bucket and mix thoroughly for a composite sample. Research shows that 20 well-taken samples per composite will result in more repeatable test results compared to samples with five to 10 samplings per composite.
  4. Sample fields according to soil texture zones.
  5. Take the composite soil sample and place about 1 quart of it in a plastic bag. Store in a cool area away from sunlight until shipment can be made to the laboratory.
  6. Send to the Michigan State University Diagnostic Services.


What to know about rotating different sources of resistance:

  • It is most effective to rotate sources of resistance (i.e. Peking and PI88788).

What to know about rotating to non-host crops:

  • It is important to rotate with non-host crops such as corn and wheat.  Most non-leguminous crops are non-host. Do not rotate with dry beans or other legumes. 
  • The first year of non-host rotation is the most effective in reducing SCN. It has been observed that farms that have both corn and wheat (compared with corn alone) in the rotation have lower incidence and numbers of SCN.

Nematode-protectant seed treatments:

  • If they are used, they need to be used in conjunction with other management strategies (i.e. non-host crops rotation, and rotation of sources of SCN resistance).
  • They are a tool but based on literature reviews and trials, they generally do not reduce numbers enough to use as a stand-alone management practice. Rotation with a non-host crop and rotating sources of resistance are both more effective management strategies, so a combination of these tools is important.

Michigan State University Experts

George Bird | Nematologist

Michigan State University


Marisol Quintanilla | Nematologist

Michigan State University


Fred Warner | Nematologist

Michigan State University