Pest Management

Assessing the Impact of Cover Crops on SCN Populations in Field Conditions

This project is using five established cover crop fields throughout Illinois to determine how different types of cover crops affect soybean cyst nematode (SCN) populations. Insights will be used to provide the state’s soybean farmers with improved management recommendations.

Project Information

  • How do different cover crops impact SCN populations?
  • Could certain cover crops be used to suppress SCN populations?
  • Statewide with emphasis on Southern Illinois
  • There are numerous types of cover crops that could fit into cropping systems across the diverse Illinois landscape. However, little is known about how the various species and varieties of cover crops influence population densities of SCN.
  • This research project will investigate how SCN responds to different cover crops to provide additional guidance to farmers seeking to manage SCN populations.
  • Farmers who experience heavy or difficult-to-manage SCN populations can incorporate cover crops in their management practices. Researchers also hope to identify which soil microbes are linked to SCN suppression as another management option.
  • Fields infested with SCN continue to show high levels of reproduction on resistant varieties. This year we observed root systems of resistant varieties with more than 200 females as soon as 45 days after planting and throughout the season.
  • Farmers should assess their fields and continue to ask their seed providers for varieties with new sources of resistance.
  • Collection and analysis of data is still underway to determine the impact of cover crops on SCN populations.
  • Dr. Ahmad Fakhoury, Professor of Plant Pathology, SIU
  • Dr. Leonardo Rocha, Postdoctoral Researcher, SIU
  • John Pike, Agronomist/Consultant, Pike Ag, LLC
  • Vitor Schwan, PhD Student, SIU

About the Lead Researcher

Dr. Jason Bond
Professor of Plant Pathology
Southern Illinois University (SIU)

Are you a farmer or advisor?

If you’re a farmer or advisor, we invite you to take our Soybean Production Concerns Survey linked below to help guide future ISA research efforts. We also encourage you to contact us below with specific production challenge research ideas.

Are you a researcher?

If you’re a researcher interested in working with ISA on a project, we encourage you to contact us with your ideas. The RFP will open in early March. Contact us below to be added to the mailing list for more information.