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Test soil for potential nematode problems

Above- and below-ground research is needed to determine if nematodes are causing plants to have less vigor and yield.

December 1, 2023

2 Min Read
Test soil for potential nematode problems
Submitted by Corteva Agriscience

When you pull into a field and see plants with stunted growth, there may be several causes going through your mind. The first thought you have, though, is likely how the problem can be solved.

Before the problem can be solved, it has to be identified. That may take some digging – literally – and the problem may not be evident to the normal eye. The initial cause can be even more difficult to determine if other issues are contributing to reduced growth. One of the causes of stunted growth may be plant-parasitic nematodes feeding on the plants’ roots. These nematodes make identifying marks on the roots, but determining the actual species causing the problem will take further investigation.

“It’s important to get to the root of the problem,” says Sunil Tewari, North America biology leader for insecticides, nematicides and bionematicides for Corteva Agriscience. “Once a plant is attacked by one element, it becomes more susceptible to additional pathogens, creating a snowball effect.”

Tewari recommends following three simple steps to determine if plant-parasitic nematodes are the cause of the problem:

  1. Above-ground visual inspection: Look for areas in the field where plants look stunted or are producing less yield. In orchards with nonbearing trees, look for trees with poor growth and reduced vigor.

  2. Pull roots of affected plants: Knots, or galling, of roots may indicate root-knot nematodes. Dark spots along the roots may mean lesion nematodes are impacting the plant.

  3. Collect Soil/Root Samples: Have soil and root samples tested to determine the exact type of nematodes causing the problem. Tewari says not all plants in a row or a particular part of the field/orchard may be affected, so growers should collect random soil samples to find where nematode populations may be higher.

If the soil and/or root samples show plant-parasitic nematodes as the main cause of the problem, a possible solution is Salibro™ nematicide with Reklemel™ active from Corteva Agriscience. Salibro nematicide is a selective nonfumigant nematicide with no fungicidal, antibiotic or insecticidal activity, making it a true nematicide. It does not impact nontarget and beneficial organisms and has favorable soil mobility that keeps it in the root zone for residual protection. Salibro nematicide can be applied at planting to help get fruiting vegetables and cucurbits off to a strong start and also in-season to extend the protection against plant-parasitic nematodes. The nematicide can also be applied to nonbearing nut and stone fruit trees.

For more information on how to control plant-parasitic nematodes with Salibro nematicide, visit Corteva.us/Salibro.

™ ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. Salibro™ is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Reklemel™ is a registered active ingredient. Always read and follow label directions. © 2023 Corteva. 016572   SBR  (12/23)

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