Sunday, February 5, 2023

After harvest – don’t forget to soil sample

• By Heather Marie Kelly •

nematode soil sampling
Land-grant universities in several Mid-South states, including the University of Tennessee, are offering their state’s soybean growers free testing for soil nematodes — photo courtesy United Soybean Board

After harvest is the perfect time to take soil samples not only for nutrient analysis but also to look for pathogens. You’ll never know if you have silent yield robbers lurking in the soil unless you look for them. Take the test, beat the pest!

Take advantage of the University of Tennessee’s free pathogen soil screening this year and submit your soil samples today. Sample will be screened for pathogenic nematodes and charcoal rot. Just angle your soil probe about 45 degrees and take a sample 3 to 6 inches off of the row to sample from the root zone.

For more info on pathogenic nematodes see previous article, “What’s the difference between nematodes.”  For more information on charcoal rot and 2017 results, see previous article, “Soilborne Pathogen Screening: 2017 Results and 2018 Screening.

Results from 2018 screening will be in upcoming articles on the blog site. The short and simple sample guide and submission form for soil samples can be found at–> Soybean –> Diseases& Nematodes –> at bottom of publication section, Nematode Sampling Guide and Submission Form. And did I mention it’s FREE!

Dr. Heather Marie Kelly is a University of Tennessee Extension plant pathologist. She may be reached at

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