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Nematode management techniques

The Issue

In Imperial County, there are several species of nematodes (microscopic roundworms) that can cause damage to many crops. Nematode-infested roots are inefficient in taking up water and nutrients, and yield or quality of the product is reduced. Although these pests are widespread and the damage is substantial, the most commonly-seen symptom in many cases is simply lack of vigor. For that reason, the cause of the problem is frequently misidentified.

What Has ANR Done?

To educate agricultural professionals about these microscopic pests, UCCE Farm Advisor Tom Turini organized a meeting in Imperial County and presented information on susceptibility of crops and weeds to nematodes. General background and specific techniques for controlling nematodes were presented by Dr. Antoon Ploeg and Dr. Ole Becker, nematologists from UC Riverside. Topics included host range, susceptibility of specialty crops to nematode species, chemical control and biological control. In addition, results were presented of a study by Dr. Ploeg and Gohar Stepanyan, in cooperation with Turini, of root-knot nematode reproduction on weed species.

The Payoff

Soil-borne pest problem is demystified

As a result of UCCE's efforts, growers and consultants are more capable of recognizing when a nematode infestation may be actually damaging a crop. They now know (1) what symptoms to look for and (2) how to take samples to confirm their suspicions. Once the problem is identified, they can better determine a management strategy that will work in their situation. In addition, they are now armed with information regarding which crops are subject to attack from which nematodes, as well as current biological and chemical control techniques.


Supporting Unit: Imperial County

Tom Turini
1050 E. Holton Road
Holtville, CA 92250