Image_1_Impact of Wheat on Soybean Cyst Nematode Population Density in Double-Cropping Soybean Production.TIFF
Double-cropping is defined as producing more than one crop on the same parcel of land in a single growing season. It is reported to have many benefits when incorporated in cropping systems, including improving soil health. In some double-cropping systems, soybean is planted following winter wheat. The soybean cyst nematode (SCN) (Heterodera glycines Ichinohe) is a major soybean pathogen, and several reports suggest suppressive effects of wheat on SCN populations. Field trials were conducted from 2017 to 2018 to investigate the effect of wheat on SCN populations in double-cropping soybean. Nine fields with three levels of initial SCN populations (low, moderate, and high) were selected in Illinois. Wheat was planted in strips alternating with strips-maintained weed-free and under fallow over winter and early spring. Soybean was planted in all strips after wheat harvest. SCN egg densities were acquired at four time points: wheat establishment, post-wheat/pre-soybean, mid-soybean (R1 growth stage or beginning of flowering), and post-soybean harvest. Wheat strips reduced SCN egg densities compared with fallow strips at the R1 stage (−31.8%) and after soybean harvest (−32.7%). Double-cropping soybean with wheat has the potential to suppress SCN field populations and is a system with the potential to provide additional farm income. This study is meant to be a first step toward a better understanding of the mechanisms that govern the suppression of SCN by wheat.