Pest Management



  • How can we gain a better understanding of what soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is doing in a soybean field without collecting more time- and cost-intensive soil samples?
  • How can we use technology to better detect infestation levels of SCN and help guide management decisions?

Project Information

  • SCN has earned the title of #1 soybean pathogen not just because of the economic loss it inflicts, but also because of its adaptability in overcoming varietal resistance. Current monitoring methods tend to lack accuracy and efficiency at the field and farm level. In addition, crop damage thresholds are difficult to establish.
  • While remote sensing technology is becoming more common in detecting crop diseases, little testing has been done in soybeans. This multi-year research project has already discovered that drone-based remote sensing provides cost-effective, reliable monitoring of SCN damage. It also identified Red and Near Infrared bands as most sensitive to SCN infestation and gained a better understanding of the sensitivity of different vegetation indices to SCN infestation and crop yield.
  • However, more research is needed to understand how soybean phenology impacts different levels of SCN infestation. Collected data will be used to develop a set of algorithms and tools farmers can use to detect, monitor and manage SCN.
  • By advancing technology capabilities, farmers will have a more clear and specific view of SCN population levels, activity and density across their fields. This will allow them to be more precise in their management of SCN.


  • Dr. Ahmad Fakhoury, Professor, Southern Illinois University
  • Dr. Ruopu Li, Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University
  • Dr. Xian Liu, PhD, Center for Ecology, Southern Illinois University
  • Southern Illinois

About the Lead Researcher

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

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.