Soybean School West: Is Manitoba Still Free of Soybean Cyst Nematode?

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Manitoba farmers whose soil test results say they have soybean cyst nematode in their soil may want to get a second opinion, says a soil ecologist from the University of Manitoba.

While the number of soybean acres has exploded on the eastern side of the Prairies over the last few years, Western Canadian growers have so far been unhindered by the pest common to most soybean growing areas in North America.

With funding from the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association, U of M scientist Mario Tenuta (on Twitter — @soilecologyUMan) has been surveying fields near the U.S. border for SCN. As he explains in this Soybean School episode, despite private lab results coming back positive, his team has yet to find the pest.

“At the moment, there’s a difference between commercial lab analyses and research lab analyses that we do. What we do in the laboratory is extremely precise in terms of naming exactly which cyst nematode it is,” he says. “There are other cyst nematodes in our soil, but they’re not soybean cyst nematodes and they cause no problem for our crops at all.”

He recommends producers who have received positive SCN test results from private labs contact him for further testing.

Tenuta also discusses steps growers can take to minimize the risk of acquiring SCN and what the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s decision to deregulate SCN as a pest means for soybean growers on the Prairies.

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