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Agronomic Services — News Release

FRIDAY, DEC. 20, 2002

CONTACT: Jack Imbriani
Nematologist, Agronomic Division
(919) 733-2655

Soybean cyst nematodes threaten soybeans in Union County

RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Agronomic Division recently detected soybean cyst nematodes in central Union County fields, and is urging growers in south central counties of the state to sample their fields for nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic worms that attack plant roots, reducing a crop’s ability to absorb water and nutrients.

This is not the first time soybean cyst has been found in Union County, and the extent of its distribution throughout the county is still largely unknown. In 2001, even though an estimated 45,000 acres of soybeans were planted in Union County, only one nematode assay sample was submitted to the NCDA&CS laboratory.

“Soybean cyst is the most problematic soybean disease in North Carolina, causing losses in excess of $20 million per year,” says Dr. Jack Imbriani, NCDA&CS nematologist. “The nematode may reduce yields for several years before the problem becomes obvious. Although most nematodes cause damage in sandy soils, soybean cyst can cause severe damage in other types of soils.”

Growers in Union County are strongly advised to sample their fields for nematodes. Submitting soil samples for nematode assay is the only way to detect nematodes before losses become severe. For $2 per sample, the NCDA&CS Agronomic Division can tell growers which nematodes are present, how many there are, whether they pose a threat to the crop, and what can be done to manage them.

“Using cyst-nematode-resistant varieties of soybeans and rotating crops are the best ways to manage soybean cyst,” said NCDA&CS regional agronomist J. Ben Knox. “Crop rotation is important because soybean cyst can survive and reproduce on only a few crops, like green beans and soybeans.”

The distribution of soybean cyst nematodes in the southern piedmont of North Carolina appears to be limited. If growers are vigilant about identifying newly infested sites and following management recommendations, they may be able to slow the spread of this pest. It is also important to minimize soil movement from infested to uninfested fields.

For more information on the soybean cyst, contact the Agronomic Division nematode assay section at (919) 733-2655. Growers in Cabarrus, Davidson, Davie, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly or Union counties can contact regional agronomist Knox by phone at (704) 278-9414 or e-mail at Knox is available to help growers pinpoint nematode and soil fertility problems, take samples, and interpret report data and recommendations.


Last Update July 29, 2008


NCDA&CS Agronomic Services Division, Colleen M. Hudak-Wise, Ph.D., Director
Mailing Address: 1040 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1040
Physical Address: 4300 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh NC 27607-6465
Phone: (919) 733-2655; FAX: (919) 733-2837

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