Two men stand in a field of soybeans while being filmed with a video camera.

NDSU-led Coalition Advances Fight Against Soybean Cyst Nematode

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The Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) Coalition, a national public-private partnership led by North Dakota State University Extension, is making a big impact for soybean farmers across the nation.

SCN is the most damaging pathogen of soybean in North America and is adapting to the genetic resistance in most of the soybeans in the U.S. The objective of the SCN Coalition is to help farmers reduce their risk of yield loss by actively managing SCN.

Since its launch in 2018, the SCN Coalition has been mentioned in 753 online articles and generated 31 million potential impressions through agricultural media. Its “Let’s Talk Todes” video series generated over two million views.

The coalition’s messaging is reaching soybean farmers, many of whom are implementing SCN management strategies. In a comparison of two national surveys of grower practices and awareness conducted in 2015 and 2020, the SCN Coalition found that the percentage of U.S. soybean farmers utilizing SCN management strategies increased between 6% and 18%.

“Even the most conservative estimates show the increase of active management practices has likely saved U.S. soybean growers more than $100 million annually,” says Sam Markell, NDSU Extension plant pathologist and a leader of the coalition.

The impact of SCN Coalition’s campaign is due to the strength of its partnerships. Partners include dozens of companies, universities and soybean checkoff organizations, such as the North Dakota Soybean Council. These partnerships allow the coalition to leverage resources to make an impact in North Dakota and nationwide.

“A coordinated effort from many committed partners is starting to make a big difference for soybean farmers,” Markell says.

The success of the NDSU-led public-private partnership has gained national attention. In May of 2022, the SCN Coalition’s campaign earned a prestigious Silver Anvil Award in Issues Management from the Public Relations Society of America.


Sam Markell, 701-231-8944,