Manage your potatoes for optimal yield and quality with SOYL PCN sampling

Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) is a pest which affects potato crops. The larvae of PCN disrupt the potato root’s ability to function normally and can result in a complete loss of yield. To help potato growers safeguard the potato crop, it is necessary to carry out intensive soil sampling to detect whether PCN is present. This is a service which we provide here at SOYL.

Furthermore, PCN sampling also represents a good opportunity to sample soil nutrients, meaning growers may combine two operations through a single collection. Find out more about our nutrient mapping services here.

How PCN sampling works

Due to the yield damage that Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) can inflict on the crop, it is important to sample soil in order to give growers an indication of the numbers of PCN in each part of the field. In cases of high infestation, where large cyst and/or egg counts have been detected, it may not be viable to grow potatoes in some parts of the field or the entire field may not be suitable for use at all. However, knowing this early can prevent huge losses down the line.

At SOYL, our PCN sampling service ensures a thorough and accurate analysis of soil health via independent laboratory testing to detect the presence and severity of PCN in fields earmarked for potato planting.

This is a four-stage process. However, prior to any samples being taken, you will need to discuss the best timings for sampling with your local SOYL area manager along with other details of your land, such as whether you are working with a one or two hectare grid and what it is you are trying to achieve through sampling. The rest of the process is outlined below.

Stage 1

A SOYL-qualified sampler will visit your land to take samples using a mechanical auger on a quad bike set to a depth of 25cm. Due to the non-uniform distribution of PCN in fields, the sampler will take a minimum of 50 core samples per hectare.

Stage 2

The PCN samples are sent to an independent laboratory where a minimum sub-sample of 200gm is analysed. If your crop is in a 1-in-5 year rotation or less, a larger sub-sample will be analysed.

Stage 3

PCN maps showing cysts and eggs will be created by the SOYL team, along with detailed OS Maps and an independent laboratory analysis report.

Stage 4

All growers using the SOYL PCN sampling service will receive high-quality maps of the PCN sample results along with the independent laboratory analysis report.

In addition, those with a MySOYL Silver Subscription can benefit from extra support. For these members, the growing crop can be monitored with remote satellite sensing technology. This will enable growers to identify and inspect variation in crop canopy development over time.


You will receive results as a map and independent laboratory report.


lab results

Find out more

If you would like to enquire about PCN sampling or receive a quote, please get in touch with your SOYL area manager. Alternatively, you can call SOYL on 01635 204190 or email our team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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