Nematode Soil Sampling

The Nematology Lab at the SROC provides nematode sample testing for a fee.  Our lab will test your soil samples for nematode counts (SCN eggs, SCN juveniles, corn nematodes, and other plant-parasitic nematodes) upon request. Soil samples for nematode counts should be sent to the SROC with the Nematode Soil Sample Submission Form (pdf).

Before submitting a soil sample for testing soybean cyst nematode (SCN) counts, you may want to read the following chapters from the University of Minnesota Extension’s Soybean Cyst Nematode Management Guide:

In addition, the Nematology Lab provides SCN HG Type test.  Soil samples for HG Type test should be sent to the SROC with the Soybean Cyst Nematode HG Type Soil Sample Submission Form (pdf).  More information about HG Type can be found in the following chapters in the Management Guide:

Procedures for Taking Nematode Soil Samples

When and where to sample

Soil samples can be collected from any field, at any time, from early spring to late fall of the current year. The soil samples collected from near the host root zone (soybean rows of the SCN) late in the growing season may have a better chance of detecting the nematode than samples taken at other times. For SCN management decisions, taking soil samples in the fall (presumably in corn fields) before growing soybean next year is recommended. Soil samples should not be collected when the field is very wet or muddy because it is difficult to process wet soil and extract the nematodes.

How to sample

Collect a soil core or ¼ cup of soil (a subsample) from each of about 20 different locations within an area no larger than 10 acres using a soil sampling probe, hand trowel, or shovel. Sample the area in a zigzag pattern (see Fig. 1). Collect soil at a depth of from 0 to 8 inches. If it is for detecting nematodes in a field with a host (soybean if SCN), take soil from the root zone. 

Combine all of the subsamples in a bucket and mix the soil thoroughly. From the mixed soil sample, place approximately 1 pint of soil into a plastic bag or paper soil test bag, and label the bag. If not mixed thoroughly, all of the combined soil should be sent in. Please indicate on the form whether the soil has been mixed thoroughly or not.

How to ship the samples

Place each soil sample in a separate bag and seal the bag securely. Using a permanent marker, label each bag with the grower’s name, field name, and sample number that corresponds to the information listed on the Nematode Soil Sample Submission Form (pdf) or the SCN HG Type Soil Sample Submission Form (pdf).

If not sent immediately, the samples should be stored in a refrigerator. Do not expose the samples to direct sunlight for an extended time. Cushion the samples when packing so they won’t break open during shipping. 

Send the samples, along with a completed form to:

Nematology Laboratory

University of Minnesota

Southern Research & Outreach Center

25838 120th Street

Waseca, MN 56093

Fees

SCN eggs $21.00

SCN juvenile $35.00

Corn nematodes $35.00

Make checks payable to University of Minnesota.

Where to send the results

Please print at the top of the submission form: name and address, e-mail, or fax number of the person to whom the results should be sent.