Collecting your soil sample
Please read our sampling guidance first before you begin collecting a sample.
Sending your soil sample back to us
Once your soil sample(s) are returned to us via the pre-paid postage bag included within the kit, ADAS will provide you with an assessment of PCN levels along with with an entomology report explaining your results. You should receive this within 10 working days of us receiving your sample.
What is PCN
PCN is a microscopic worm that multiplies by forming cysts on potato roots. Each cyst contains eggs with 200-600 larvae. When potatoes are planted in infested soil, their root exudates trigger the hatch of the larvae which then attack the potato roots.
There are two distinct species of PCN- the white PCN (Globodera pallida) and the yellow PCN (G rostochiensis). White PCN is the most common in the UK.
In the absence of a host potato crop, a proportion of the larvae will hatch each year, escape into the soil and die. However there may be some eggs waiting to hatch in cysts for over 10 years and these will multiply rapidly again when a new host is planted.
This ability of PCN to persist in soil for such a long period makes it so damaging and difficult to control. Once present, it is usually a case of managing rather than eradicating the pest.
More information on how to manage PCN can be found on the AHDB website