The Illinois Soybean Association is seeking farmer partners for a study to validate the hypothesis that wheat straw can suppress soybean cyst nematode (SCN) populations. A blog posted on this spring titled, “Managing SCN: New tactic might be emerging,” explained how wheat straw and other cover crops can potentially reduce SCN populations.

The study will be conducted with wheat planted this fall and soybeans planted next summer. It will be harvested in the fall of 2018. The project is being coordinated by ISA Technical Coordinator Dan Davidson, Ph.D., and executed by Jason Bond, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University-Carbondale professor, plant soil and agricultural systems; Terry Wyciskalla, Wyciskalla Consulting, LLC; and John Bailey, JCB Contract Research.

We are looking for 30 to 40 fields being planted to wheat this fall in southern Illinois to survey background levels of SCN in the soil. From this larger set of fields, we will select 10 fields to use as the research plots based on the SCN levels from previously collected soil samples. As a partner, even if your field isn’t one of the final 10, you will receive a report of the SCN populations.

Site-selection criteria:

  1. 2.5 acres of space for the trials (approximately 180-by-600 feet)
  2. A combine yield monitor is required to collect soybean harvest data in 2018
  3. The site should be planted to wheat this fall following soybean harvested in 2017, and soybeans will be planted following wheat
  4. Each producer of the 10 final research locations will be compensated $500
  5. This study will begin in the fall of 2017 and conclude at soybean harvest in the fall of 2018
  6. We prefer that the site locations are south of Interstate 64 across southern Illinois

Other details will follow during the initial survey and site-selection process.

If you have questions or want to volunteer to partner in this project, please contact Terry Wyciskalla at (618) 314-0578 or

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