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Plant Parasitic Nematode Management Strategies

Plant Parasitic Nematode Other Cultural Practices

Management Strategies Adequate water and fertilizer can minimize plant
parasitic nematode damage. Plant parasitic nematodes
Disease Diagnosis reduce the plant root systems ability to take up water
and nutrients. Adequate water and fertilizer do not
Plant parasitic nematode management hinges on reduce nematode density but help plants to cope better
detection and population density estimation. Before with nematode damage, and might increase yield and
selecting a field for vegetable production, submit a soil reduce the symptoms of nematode damage.
sample to a lab with a trained nematologist to analyze
the soil for the presence and quantity of plant parasitic Anything that moves soil can spread plant parasitic
nematodes. Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) nematodes to other fields and within the same field.
and soybean cyst nematodes (Heterodera glycines) are Thus, preventing infested soil and plant material from
the most important nematode pests commonly found in infesting fields will help with nematode management.
the Midwest.
Chemical Control
Disease-resistant Varieties Seedling diseases, root diseases, and vascular wilts caused
Resistance to Meloidogyne incongnita is available with by soilborne fungi and nematodes can be destructive
the Mi gene in tomato, but few other vegetable crops problems in the field and greenhouse. Soil-applied
presently have resistant genes for root-knot nematodes. fumigants or nematicides may help prevent serious
Nematode resistance in tomatoes is indicated by the N losses to soilborne disease when combined with long-
designation. Resistant varieties should be used whenever term management practices.
possible to reduce yield loss. It is important to have Soil fumigants are chemicals that are injected into the
multiple disease resistance genes when more than one soil and emit toxic fumes that penetrate air spaces in
important pathogen is present in a field, such as with the soil and kill microorganisms. Fumigants must be
tomatoes where root-knot nematodes, Verticillium, and sealed into the soil with water or a plastic tarp to ensure
Fusarium can interact. that a lethal concentration and exposure time. Because
fumigants are harmful to all living plants, a certain
Crop Rotation amount of time (from two weeks to two months) must
Plant parasitic nematodes overwinter in the soil or in pass between treatment and planting to avoid crop
association with plant material. Crop rotation and weed damage. Several nonfumigant nematicides are available
control are very important in managing plant parasitic for several vegetable crops. These generally are systemic
nematodes. Root-knot nematodes have a very wide compounds that also may provide good insect control.
vegetable, field crop, and weed host range. Soybean cyst A number of factors affect the performance of these
nematodes have a much narrower host range, but when products, including soil temperature, soil moisture, soil
both nematode species are present, a rotation ideal for tilth, organic matter, soil type, and time of application.
soybean cyst nematode reduction may favor buildup of Consult the product label for specific details on safe
root-knot nematodes. handling and application methods.
A brief description of several common soil treatments is
given in Table 21.

Plant Parasitic Nematode Management Strategies

Table 21: Nematode Soil Treatments

Chemical Fumigant/ Application Plant Back Time Crops Comments
Mocap, ethroprop N Soil only. Applied with cabbage, sweet Mobile in sand soils.
(RUP) water by soil injection, corn, cucumbers, Crop injury can occur
sprinkler system, flood potatoes, sweet if used in furrow.
irrigation, over soil potatoes, snap
surface with sprinkling beans, lima beans
Nemacur, N Soil treatment only. NA cabbage, Brussels
fenamiphos (RUP) sprouts, bok choy,
okra, garlic
Nimitz N Soil treatment only. 7 days cucurbits, pepper. Contact pesticide.
Broadcast, band, or drip Caution label.
SMDC: sodium F Preplant tarped. Dont 14-21 days after general use Vapam is more
methydithio enter within 48 hours. treatment fumigant effective when applied
carbamate with considerable
(Vapam, etc.) water.
Vydate (RUP) N Soil and foliage NA carrots, celery, Foliar applications
treatment. cucurbits, are not effective
eggplants, peppers, for moderate and
potatoes, sweet high populations of
potatoes, tomatoes nematodes.
Telone (RUP) F Soil treatment only. 2-3 weeks most vegetables Formulations with
high percentages
chloropicrin are
needed to control
soilborne fungal
RUP=restricted use pesticide

Belowground symptoms of root knot nematodes include roots with enlarged galls.