Growers and certified crop advisors (CCAs) across Indiana were surveyed during the winter of 2003 to 2004 to assess their perceptions about soybean cyst nematode (SCN) and use of SCN management practices. Most farmers (57%) and CCAs (72%) surveyed reported a moderate to high level of concern regarding SCN and its potential impact on soybean yield. The majority of those surveyed were also aware that some winter annual weeds can serve as hosts for SCN. Crop management practices specifically aimed at managing the impact of SCN were employed by 55 and 78% of growers and CCAs, respectively. However, only 21% percent of growers said that they had sampled a field for nematodes within the last two years. Growers from eastern and southern Indiana were less likely to be concerned about SCN, to implement SCN management strategies, and to have the soil tested for SCN than growers throughout the rest of the state. In addition, smaller farmers appear to be less concerned and knowledgeable about SCN than those who operate larger farms. The results of this survey suggest that the majority of Indiana growers would likely adopt winter weed control to manage SCN. Also, with respect to winter weed control, future Extension efforts should be focused on southern Indiana where both the risk for SCN reproduction on winter annuals and the need for education on SCN appear to be highest.
Nomenclature: Soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr; soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines Ichinohe.