A Force in Controlling Nematodes

January 25, 2022

Include Velum® and Movento® in Your Nematode Control Program

Nematodes can be a frustration for potato growers. It’s a year-long battle to control multiple generations of these profit-robbing pests.

Nematodes multiply quickly and can have two to six generations a season with each generation lasting four to six weeks. Growers in Idaho may deal with two to four nematode generations a year, whereas Washington growers could face four to six generations because of the longer growing season.

Relevant: 75-Day IPM Potato Program

The key to a successful potato crop starts with controlling nematodes preseason, pre-planting and planting. According to Bayer Tech Development Rep Kelly Luff, suppressing nematodes early in the season helps keep them below economic thresholds until harvest. Ignoring them at planting can be devastating.

Potato nematodes like root-knot, root lesion and stubby-root can cause up to 90 percent yield loss, according to USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) research. Nematodes also cause blemishes or tuber abnormalities that affect the marketability of the crop.

“If you are trying to decide if you want to use a non-fumigant nematicide to control nematodes and you let them move into the plant, you've already lost the battle,” Luff said. “Because once they've begun feeding and moved into the roots, they're already in the plant and the damage is done. Ideally, you want to provide plant protection before nematodes move into the roots.”

Root-Knot Nematodes

Nematodes attack roots throughout the year, reducing yield and tuber quality. Processors will reject an entire field of potatoes if even a single-digit percentage of its potatoes have root-knot damage. Some restaurants have a zero tolerance for potatoes with root-knot nematodes.

Luff says there are two types of root-knot nematodes Pacific Northwestern potato growers confront. “The two main species that we deal with are Northern root-knot (Meloidogyne hapla) and Columbia root-knot (Meloidogyne chitwoodi).”

To manage root-knot nematodes, Luff suggests that potato growers use a fumigant in the fall after harvest or in early spring prior to planting. Then he recommends an application of Velum® fungicide/nematicide at-plant, based on local nematode thresholds. “Use Velum in-furrow at planting or first chemigation. It gives growers a different mode of action. Depending on initial populations and growing area, you want to use Velum with a fumigant because you can extend your window of suppression.”

Velum® Rise fungicide/nematicide is the newest version of Velum that suppresses nematodes through the entire season. With its two active ingredients, Penflufen and Fluopyram, Velum Rise is designed to ensure your potatoes’ growth throughout their first 75 days when they are most vulnerable to pests and disease.

Saad Hafez, a nematologist for the University of Idaho, recommends two Movento® insecticide/nematicide applications in his nematode management program with other non-fumigant nematicides – a typical application would be at row closure and again 14 days later. “Movento is a very good nematicide,” Hafez said. “It will suppress the root-knot nematode.”

The unique characteristics of Movento allow it to move from the foliage to roots to stop nematode reproduction in the plant and stop tuber damage. “Movento is the only nematicide that will kill the nematode in the plant,” Hafez added.

Relevant: 75-Day IPM Potato Program

Lesion Nematodes

Lesion nematodes impact yield by feeding on roots. They make holes in the roots that allow fungi to enter, causing wilting and yield loss. “Once fungus gets in the roots, it spreads in the whole plant and has an effect on the transport of water and nutrients in the plant. This is why you get a lot of wilting,” explained Saad Hafez, a nematologist for the University of Idaho.

Hafez said the best way to manage this problem is with a nematicide and fungicide to control the lesion nematode from damaging the root, thereby not allowing fungi, such as Verticillium, to enter the plant.

“In Idaho, we’ve been recommending the use of Velum Prime and Movento for lesion nematode,” Hafez said. “You can go with Velum Prime at planting in-furrow, and then come back with Movento. We’ve seen in our trials that the Velum Prime/Movento combination is very effective to improve yield and manage lesion nematode. You get a significant yield increase from lesion nematode control.”

The combination of an early-season application of Velum Prime followed by two applications of Movento is called the V+M Solution. According to third-party research, the V+M Solution can increase production up to 82 cwt/A. Watch this video to learn about the trial and results.

While Velum Rise features the same nematode protection benefits of Fluopyram as Velum Prime, its’ second active ingredient Penflufen provides protection against soil-borne diseases such as Rhizoctonia and black dot.

Stubby-Root Nematodes

Stubby-root nematodes can transmit Tobacco rattle virus, which causes Corky ringspot in potatoes. This causes deformities and damages the inside of the potatoes, resulting in lower tuber quality.

“You get a lot of knobby tubers, which are unmarketable,” Hafez said. “It’s even worse than root-knot for the marketing. If you have even one nematode in the field, you need to treat.

Hafez says that stubby-root nematodes are not easy to control since they are very mobile in the soil and can reach a depth of two feet. “We try to apply the [V+M solution] as early as we can to suppress stubby-root nematodes from affecting the tubers,” he said. Most damage will occur within the first 6 to 8 weeks after planting. Protection must be provided during this period using fumigant and non-fumigant programs that include products like Velum and Movento.

Crop rotation also helps lower stubby-root and other nematode pressure levels. Hafez encourages growers to use a nematicide on the rotational crop, when permitted, to help manage nematode populations in the soil.

Kamren Koompin of Koompin Farms in American Falls, Idaho, said that rotating potatoes with oilseed crops is one piece of his nematode management program. Velum Prime is another. “Velum Prime fits in really nicely, especially going after the lesion nematode and the connection to Verticillium wilt,” he noted.

Relevant: 75-Day IPM Potato Program

Additional Control

In addition to nematodes, Movento and Velum help growers control other potato pests and diseases. Movento protects against aphids, psyllids, two-spotted spider mites and wireworms, which also helps suppress a broad range of diseases associated with these pests, including Potato leaf roll virus. With Velum Prime, growers also get suppression of diseases like White mold and Early blight. Additionally, Velum Rise defends against key soil-borne diseases like Rhizoctonia and black dot in potatoes.

Talk to your local agronomist about which Velum formulation is right for you.

Luna Family for Potatoes

Luna Pro fungicide protects against key diseases throughout the growing season and provides an effective approach to resistance management.

Bret Severe, a crop consultant with Nutrien Ag Solutions, Idaho, suggests using Luna Tranquility® fungicide with Velum Prime for better plant health. “Luna Tranquility is a very good fit with Velum Prime in a rotation for disease pressure. It builds up the barrier that’s going to be in the plant for better total plant health, plus it’s a very good fit for White mold and Early blight,” he said.

“Luna Tranquility works with a total program that you put together with a grower where you start early and continue to follow throughout the growing season. And using those Bayer products has definitely made for a positive return on investment for my growers,” Severe added.

For more insights on controlling nematodes and other yield-robbing diseases, visit our 75-Day IPM Potato Program page or contact your Bayer rep.

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