What is in this article?:
- New species of root knot nematode in North Carolina causing problems
- Chemical control best, but expensive option
- This root knot nematode is more damaging than the “normal” root knot species. Even low numbers on coarse-textured deep sands can be devastating.
- Cotton nematicide seed treatments are ineffective.
THE ROOT KNOT nematode eloidogyne enterlobii is more damaging than the “normal” root knot species. Even low numbers on coarse-textured deep sands can be devastating to cotton.
Chemical control best, but expensive option
I work with very few peanuts so I don’t have any personal data from nematode assays to evaluate this. Other than rotating with peanuts, the other control method is chemical.
Telone II soil fumigant is labeled, however, it is expensive. On high-value crops, it is economical. On low-value crops like cotton, cost is problematic and many times it doesn’t fit cultural practices such as no-till.
However, with this nematode, Telone II is the only option. Planting methods may have to be changed so it can be used. Three gallons should be injected 12 inches deep, under the row during strip-tillage, seven to 10 days before planting.
This will cost approximately $55 per acre. It is costly, so it should only be used where nematode assays indicate a problem.
There are three options for soybeans, and none of these are good. Rotating with peanuts may help, but they both have some of the same diseases such as Southern stem rot.
Telone II would work well, the same as on cotton, but almost all soybeans are planted on narrow-rows and most growers don’t strip-till. They would have to make a major change in planting technique.
The last option is to plant wheat and then let the land go idle. Growers don’t like this either; weeds must still be controlled, no income from the second crop, and landlords generally don’t like this.
In conclusion, not if, but when you get this species of root knot, it will be a game changer.
For cotton, Telone II will probably be a requirement. For soybeans, no good option exists.
Fortunately, this nematode is not widespread and, hopefully, it will remain that way. Hopefully through research, more management options will be discovered.