A plant expert at Iowa State University is advising farmers to check their fields for a pesky worm that could do big damage to soybeans. Nematologist Greg Tylka says testing is the only way to identify the soybean cyst nematode during the fall.He says during the growing season, the worm makes the plants look sick, but in the fall, soil samples have to be tested. Tylka says the soybean nematodes are out there, it’s just a matter of knowing where. He says a random survey a few years ago found the soybean cyst nematode in 75-percent of the fields, but he says there are a lot of fields that haven’t been identified. He says identifying the problem is the most important thing. Tylka says it’s easy to keep in check, but hard to drive back down once the numbers go way up. He says there are two thing that can be done to combat the problem. You can rotate resistant varieties of soybeans, or plant corn, which is a “non-host” of the worm. Tylka says farmers should take the appropriate samples and send them in to be tested for the soybean cyst nematode. For more information, contact you county extension office.
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