Keep Root-knot Nematodes Out of Your Soy, Cotton Fields

Root-knot Nematode Profile showing rotting roots
Root-knot nematodes can damage young roots, but innovative products like tolerant seed varieties and seed treatments can help minimize injury.

Root-knot nematodes are a scourge to soybeans in the southern U.S., damaging plants and even leading to early death and low yields. They are a threat to cotton producers in all major cotton-growing states.

But there are proven ways to protect against nematodes.

Underground Parasites

Root-knot nematodes (RKN) are aptly named. These soil-borne microorganisms invade plant roots, seeking to establish the crop's vascular system as a specialized feeding site.

When they succeed, the cellular makeup of the plant changes, and large knots develop around the feeding site and nematode itself. As RKN populations in a field rise, root galling increases.

Another important characteristic to note is that RKN (Meloidgyne incognita) can infect a majority of southern row crop species including corn, soybeans, cotton, and grain sorghum. They can also reproduce on weed hosts including pigweed, lambsquarter and Johnsongrass. Female RKN can deposit up to 500 eggs in a gelatinous matrix within the feeding site on the plant root. This is a central means by which RKNs can overwinter.

Manage Nematodes and Protect Crops

One solution for protecting against nematodes is to plant tolerant varieties. Stoneville® cotton seed variety ST 4946GLB2 offers the distinct advantage of RKN tolerance, making it an excellent choice for fields with known presence of this pest.

Seed treatments are another effective way to help minimize nematode damage, by protecting crops during the critical early season growing period.

  • ILeVO® seed treatment provides effective nematode protection for soybeans, with activity against all plant parasitic nematode species in the seed zone.
  • COPeO® Prime seed treatment brings a new mode of action to the cottonseed treatment market, providing superior nematode protection where it matters most - at the roots.

Both seed treatment solutions contribute to healthier root systems and for higher yield potential.

Velum® Total insecticide offers effective, early season management of nematodes as a liquid in-furrow application. This enhances root health and helps establish strong growth, decreasing the need for additional foliar sprays to regulate damaging pests for better ROI.

There are several plant-parasitic species of root-knot nematodes. Talk to your regional Bayer agronomist or contact your local representative about managing nematodes on your farm.

Works Cited

  • Riedel, Richard M., and Sally A. Miller and Randall C. Row. "Root Knot Nematode."Ohio State University Extension. Ohio State University. N.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2011.
  • Mitkowski, Nathaniel A., and George S. Abawi. “Root-knot nematode.”Apsnet.org. The American Phytopathological Society. 2011. Web. 27 Sept. 2011. http://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/intropp/lessons/Nematodes/Pages/RootknotNematode.aspx
  • Westphal, Andreas, and Lijuan Xing. “Diseases of Soybean.”Purdue Extension: Botany. Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. N.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2011. www.extension.purdue.edu
  • Roberson, Roy. “Root-knot nematodes gaining ground.”SoutheastFarmPress.com. Penton Media, Inc. 9 Jan. 2008. Web. 29 Sept. 2011. http://southeastfarmpress.com/root-knot-nematodes-gaining-ground
  • The Bayer CropScience Family of Sites. Bayer CropScience. Web. 27 Sept. 2011.

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