Working for the Agronomy Department at the University of Minnesota this past summer was a wonderful experience. There was a wide variety of work I did, but one of my favorite areas was working with soybean cyst nematode. I had the opportunity to see experiments through from the beginning to the end stages of work. Between taking care of plots, pulling samples, and doing the lab work on samples, I saw all aspects of the SCN research. In the picture on the left, I am doing weed control on small soybean plots spraying Roundup with a backpack sprayer. I learned about how to mix chemical and safety when applying it. It was very important for us to keep weeds down in the plots so that no results would be thrown off. For example, different plants give off different root exudates that may attract or repel the SCN. These plots were meant to compare differences in soil and varieties on how many SCN would be present. In the bottom left picture, I am searching for and recording the number of SCN found in the soybean root tissue at different sampling dates and life stages. It took quite a while to get good at correctly identifying the SCN since they often look similar to the root fragments. This came with experience and studying of the differences between life stages so I could correctly identify them. From growing the experiment to sampling it and then examining the sample, I experienced all stages of the physical research. I am thankful that I was not just put on one job with no variety and les
s opportunity to learn.