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New non-biotech solution for nematode problemNew non-biotech solution for nematode problem

Nemastrike Technology is a newly approved seed treatment to control nematodes in corn and beans.

Rod Swoboda 1

September 8, 2017

3 Min Read
PASSING THE TEST: Nemastrike Technology is a seed treatment that’s being tested this year by a select group of corn and soybean growers as part of the Ground Breakers on-farm trial program.

In time for the 2018 planting season, Monsanto is offering NemaStrike Technology by Acceleron Seed Applied Solutions as a game-changing way to control the invisible and invasive nematode problem. Nematodes cause greater than 10% yield loss in corn, soybeans and cotton in the U.S. each year. As a broad-spectrum nematicide, NemaStrike Technology is designed to strike in the root zone where nematodes attack while providing consistent yield protection.

To learn more about this new product, Wallaces Farmer interviewed Monsanto seed treatment product development manager, Dave Wilson. He says this technology stands apart as a way to protect yield. “The launch of NemaStrike Technology is exciting because the tech provides broad-spectrum control of plant parasitic nematodes in corn, soybeans and cotton,” he says. “And the timing could not be more perfect.”

Nematodes an increasing problem
“Today, many growers underestimate the severe impact nematodes have on yield and overall crop health, and it’s important to us to educate them about the issue,” he adds. “NemaStrike Technology addresses this important unmet need.”

Nematodes impact all crops, but growers often do not attribute yield loss to this plant parasite. A recent survey found that only 8% of corn and 25% of soybean growers believe nematodes impacted their 2016 yields. Growers often believe relying on genetics or crop rotation will control nematodes and don’t actively pursue other methods and tools to mitigate nematode damage. 

Growers testing technology
“Genetic resistance isn’t the silver bullet for the nematode problem,” says Wilson. “Nematode damage is often misattributed to other issues like drought stress, fertility deficiency and disease pressure. That’s one of the reasons why we developed our Ground Breakers program to give growers a hands-on experience with tools like NemaStrike. Growers conducting these trials can test its performance in nematode control and yield protection while gaining a better understanding of the problem.”

In 43 states across the U.S., more than 438 Ground Breakers pre-commercial field trials for corn, soybeans and cotton are underway. Illinois farmer Matt Muirheid is a Ground Breakers participant who planted soybean seed with NemaStrike Technology and has already noticed results in the field. After inspecting soybean roots following an early August root dig, he said, “You can see more lateral roots, more nodules and a bigger root system on the NemaStrike beans vs. soybeans without the technology. The roots are very impressive.”

Better, healthier root system
Muirheid was skeptical any results would appear that early in the growing season but is glad to see the response. “This field had been four years of corn, and I was concerned the nematode pressure wouldn’t be heavy enough to show any results. I was glad to see we had better roots on the NemaStrike side,” he says.

With a novel mode of action and low water solubility, NemaStrike Technology defends crops from the start and stays in the root zone as plants grow for up to 75 days. The technology also has shown consistent yield protection in hundreds of field trials, over three years of testing, in all soil types and levels of pressure. Trial results showed an average yield protection advantage in corn (7 bushels per acre), soybeans (3 bushels per acre) and cotton (80 pounds lint per acre) versus the competitive standard.

In May, the U.S. EPA issued registration for the product containing NemaStrike Technology. Since the approval, the technology has gained approval for application to seed in 45 states. For more information about nematodes or NemaStrike, visit NemaStrikeTechnology.com.

About the Author(s)

Rod Swoboda 1

Editor, Wallaces Farmer

Rod, who has been a member of the editorial staff of Wallaces Farmer magazine since 1976, was appointed editor of the magazine in April 2003. He is widely recognized around the state, especially for his articles on crop production and soil conservation topics, and has won several writing awards, in addition to honors from farm, commodity and conservation organizations.

"As only the tenth person to hold the position of Wallaces Farmer editor in the past 100 years, I take seriously my responsibility to provide readers with timely articles useful to them in their farming operations," Rod says.

Raised on a farm that is still owned and operated by his family, Rod enjoys writing and interviewing farmers and others involved in agriculture, as well as planning and editing the magazine. You can also find Rod at other Farm Progress Company activities where he has responsibilities associated with the magazine, including hosting the Farm Progress Show, Farm Progress Hay Expo and the Iowa Master Farmer program.

A University of Illinois grad with a Bachelors of Science degree in agriculture (ag journalism major), Rod joined Wallaces Farmer after working several years in Washington D.C. as a writer for Farm Business Incorporated.

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