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Let’s focus on nematodesLet’s focus on nematodes

August 15, 2018

2 Min Read

By John Wood, Certis USA Regional Manager

With harvest well under way, damaging ants should be under control. If not, and if ant populations are still significant in your orchards, consider using ant baits earlier next year.

Since postharvest runs from September through Halloween, we need to turn our attention to nematodes. This is a period of time when trees produce their fall flush of new white roots. These fast growing, yet tender roots fill the subsoil and create an environment that attracts nematodes. In order to get the best bang for your buck when using a nematicide, postharvest is the ideal timing. While you apply your nematicide to protect the flush of roots, you are also targeting the nematodes attracted to those roots. You want to put your nematicide in contact the majority of the nematode population that is moving toward your trees’ roots.

Surveying Nematodes

UC IPM recommends surveying orchard soil to determine the nematode species present and to estimate their numbers.

To conduct a nematode survey, follow UC IPM guidelines. Here is a summary of what is involved.

--Divide orchards into sampling blocks. For parcels of fewer than 20 acres, take a minimum of 4 samples.

--Take soil and root subsamples from an area of the root system where there is soil moisture. That’s where the highest numbers of nematodes should be concentrated.

--Take the subsamples randomly and place them in separate plastic bags that are sealed and labeled. Keep the samples cool and submit them to a diagnostic laboratory as soon as possible.

Recommendation: Melocon nematicide

If the population numbers and species of nematodes found in your survey warrant a nematode control program, consider the use of MeloCon® WG biological nematicide. MeloCon contains a naturally occurring fungus, Paecilomyces lilacinus, that is a highly effective parasite against all stages of development of common plant-infecting nematodes, especially the eggs and infectious juveniles. MeloCon has a 4-hr. REI and zero-day PHI. It is OMRI listed, NOP approved and residue exempt.

MeloCon is applied at 2 to 4 lbs. per acre. It can be run through standard irrigation systems, although precautions should be taken when applied with flood irrigation.

Since Melocon is a live fungal organism, you want to be selective when tank mixing with another fungicide in the same application. (It can be tank mixed with most soil-applied insecticides.) MeloCon is perishable and needs to be handled in an appropriate manner. It should be kept frozen until use and applied in a timely fashion. Please contact your local ag chemical dealer for specific storage instructions. Always read and follow label instructions.

For more information about MeloCon, please visit the Certis USA website by clicking here. There you will find the MeloCon product label, SDS sheet, tech sheets and organic certifications.

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