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28th May 2019

Monitor to Manage – Nematode Sampling Program

Monitor to Manage – Nematode Sampling Program

Root-knot nematodes are the world's most damaging nematode species and once established, are hard to eradicate. 

Seminis is offering growers in Central Queensland the opportunity to have nematode populations counted, with free and independent on-farm testing.

Understanding nematodes

Nematode populations thrive in warm soils.  Crops with a long planting to harvest cycle, including tomatoes and capsicums, have a low threshold for damage.

Symptoms of nematode infestation of roots generally involve stunting, premature wilting and slow recovery to improved soil moisture conditions, leaf chlorosis (yellowing) and other symptoms characteristic of nutrient deficiency. Plants exhibiting stunted or decline symptoms usually occur in patches of non-uniform growth rather than as an overall decline of plants.

Nematode feeding on root systems affects yield by diverting plant nutrition to the parasite, resulting in galling throughout the root system. The reduction in root volume and function caused by galling means the plant is no longer able to absorb nutrients and water effectively. 

Nematode populations in field can be counted through soil samples taken before planting or plastic is laid and at 12-14 weeks after the crop is planted. In-crop samples are also taken 6 weeks after planting to assess the impact on the plant. 

Managing nematodes

These pests have to be detected in the soil or in the plant parts to ensure the correct control action is taken. 

Seminis recommends an integrated Nematode Management Strategy (NMS) when attempting to control or reduce nematode populations on farm. 

This may include: 

  • Monitoring /assessment - Monitoring or assessment of nematode populations is an important aid to nematode management. Register for free nematode monitoring on your farm. 
     
  • Cultural/cultivation practices - crop rotation or a crop and weed free period (fallow) can help reduce nematode populations by as much as 95% in some areas. (1)
     
  • Resistant varieties - New capsicum varieties are now available which offer resistance to the nematode species commonly found in Central Queensland. The nematode can attack the root system but the resistance prevents the nematode feeding and reproducing through a hyper-sensitive cell response.
     
  • Chemistry applications - Nematicide treatments can play an important role in nematode control. Depending on the degree of nematode pressure, an integrated approach to nematode management can reduce reliance on costly chemicals. 

Seminis has engaged nematode researcher, Chris Themsen of Agreco Australia, to conduct free and independent nematode sampling for growers in the Bundaberg region

Take control of nematode control.  Click here to register for free and independent nematode sampling on your farm.

(1) Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Root Knot nematodeFebruary 2017