For many years now, aldicarb or Temik has been the backbone of root-knot nematode management in Georgia for both peanuts and cotton, but it’s time to consider a new strategy, says Bob Kemerait, University of Georgia Extension plant pathologist.

“It was reported by Bayer CropScience they would phase out the production of Temik by 2014, and I was telling everyone not to worry about it, that we’d figure it out,” says Kemerait.

“But we all got a rude awakening in February of last year when we learned that due to litigation, Bayer decided it was no longer worthwhile to continue producing Temik, so that left us scrambling.”

Temik is still available, he says, but you’ll pay for it.

 (The loss of Temik already had altered some cropping plans last year. To see how some growers responded, click here).

“The first thing we use Temik for in peanuts is thrips control, and replacing it won’t be a problem there,” he says.

“We have Thimet, phorate and Orthene available, and Syngenta has Cruiser-treated peanut seed available this year for fighting thrips. Based on my limited research, I can’t tell you how effective Cruiser-treated seed will be against thrips as compared to Temik.

“My peanut trials with Cruiser-treated seed were planted late last season and there wasn’t much pressure from thrips. However, the product looked good under light pressure.

“I have heard estimates there might be enough Cruiser-treated seed this year for 60,000 acres. Just know that your opportunity to manage thrips has not changed with the loss of Temik — there are great options.”

More importantly, asks Kemerait, what do growers do without Temik this year for managing nematodes in peanuts?

“If you have difficult nematode situations as we do in southwest Georgia, and you’ve grown accustomed to using 10 pounds per acre of Temik at planting plus 10 pounds of Temik at pegging time or, even better, fumigating with Telone II and using Temik, then you’re deploying our best treatments to fight the nematodes.

Consider Tifguard

“If, after using nematicides, you still have areas of the peanut field that are stunted, then I’m not sure why you aren’t considering using the Tifguard peanut variety,” he says.

Research data from official variety trials show that other varieties are ahead of Tifguard in terms of yield, says Kemerait.

 “But those trials are not conducted in fields with severe nematode problems. If you plant in fields which have significant populations of the peanut root-knot nematode, even if you have access to Temik, then you must consider using Tifguard.

“The yield potential of Tifguard is largely unaffected by peanut root-knot nematodes in the field; whereas yields from other popular varieties can be compromised. It is difficult to compare the difference in planting Tifguard in a heavy-nematode population field and trying to protect another high-yielding variety.”

There are options to consider if a grower chooses not to plant Tifguard, he says.

“In a field with heavy pressure from nematodes and where Tifguard is not planted, the grower should consider planting a high-yielding variety and fumigating with Telone.

“Applications should be between 4.5 and 6 gallons in-row or a 9-gallon broadcast rate. But I can tell you that in the toughest situations, Telone and a high-yielding variety may still not be as good as Tifguard. Growers should also remember that Telone II is a very effective material, but will likely be in tight supply this year.”

Moving away from the worst-case scenario, there may be fields, says Kemerait, where there is nematode damage, but it’s not spread across an entire field.

“At least consider using Tifguard,” he says. “But it’s also understandable if you want to go with a higher yielding variety like Georgia-06G. In such situations, you can consider using Telone. The problem comes if you’re not set up to use Telone or if you can’t get it.”

If you’re in a moderate pressure situation, and you can’t use Telone with a high-yielding variety, then there’s not a good option unless you can find Temik and you’re willing to pay the price for it, he says.

“We have other products sold for the control of nematodes on peanuts, for example Enclosure, Vydate, and Neem, that we continue to assess; however they’re certainly not for difficult situations,” says Kemerait.

Finally, if you’re in a low nematode population, and you’ve seen some root damage and some galling, and you want to use Georgia-06G or some of the other high-yielding varieties, there are situations where the yield potential of a variety can make up for some of the nematode damage, he says.

This past December, EPA released a statement that a brand of aldicarb marketed as Meymik received a label and will be available to growers. Ag Logic, a company based in Chapel Hill, N.C., will be importing the product.

“There are several problems with that,” says Kemerait.

“The first is that we have not tested it in any way — we don’t know the formulation. We don’t believe it’ll be available at planting, but it may be available later in the year. We assume it’ll be available in 2013, but we’re not sure about the efficacy of the product.

“Bayer assumed the liability for their product with Temik. We don’t know if Ag Logic will assume the liability or if distributors will assume the liability. If distributors have to assume the liability, then that’ll be a big stretch.”

In summary, for management of thrips in the absence of aldicarb or Temik, there are clear choices, says Kemerait.

“For managing peanut root-knot nematodes, consider using Tifguard. If you’re not planting Tifguard, you need to look at a high-yielding variety and protect it with Telone II.”

(Estill, S.C., peanut grower Doug Jarrell has been fighting nematode problems in his crop for years. To see how he attacked the problem without Temik last year, visit http://southeastfarmpress.com/cotton/south-carolina-grower-finds-temik-alternative).

phollis@farmpress.com