Get to the Root of the Vigor and Yield Equation
Tree crop performance starts with healthy roots to build yield potential
ST. LOUIS, Oct. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Controlling nematodes in a new planting is standard operating procedure in tree crop production. Knocking down those insidious pests when pressure rebuilds in the established orchard was the challenge - was the challenge.
That changed when recently labeled products opened opportunities for growers to protect the roots of their tree crops.
"I don't think that anybody's ever stood on any dirt without there being nematodes under their shoes," said Tom Gill, Pest Control Advisor/Certified Crop Advisor (PCA/CCA) for Wilbur Ellis, Manteca, California branch. "It has been a long road to get back into having tools for nematode control post-plant. Now with Movento and Velum One, we do have post-plant tools for established orchards – tools we can use that have other attributes besides just nematode suppression – and those all go together to make a fine program for not only nematodes but for scale and mite suppression and other sucking insects."
To control nematodes, a grower first must know which species are present at what levels. Growers historically sample before a new planting and treat accordingly pre-plant. With tools now available for post-plant treatment, Gill also samples biannually when roots are likely to flush – in the spring and again just after harvest. He uses the Bayer Soil Nematode Analysis Program (SNAP), a service for commercial growers, to test the samples.
Ryan Garcia of Hughson, California, a PCA/CCA with Salida Ag Chem, saw the effects of ring nematode in 2017 when the almond trees in one orchard shed 90 percent of their blooms. Sampling showed heavy ring nematode pressure. The grower chose to treat with Velum® One.
"We did the application of Velum One and I left out an untreated section," Garcia reported. "My nematode sample after application came down to 200 – from 3,200 before treatment – on the ring nematode and then my untreated went up to 4,000 on the ring nematode."
In that orchard, Garcia needs multiple foliar and soil applications to alleviate the heavy pressure from ring nematode. With two highly effective tools now available for post-plant application, growers can write a treatment program for each orchard that appropriately addresses the level of nematode pressure.
"I recommend that Velum and Movento be used because it's important to manage nematode populations in orchards," said Mathew Wilson, PCA, a Bayer sales representative. "Without proper management of nematodes, the populations can build over time and cause significant plant injury, which can ultimately lead to reductions in yield, in vigor and in overall plant health."
Velum One nematicide is soil-applied pre-plant or applied post-plant through chemigation. The systemic action of Velum One moves the treatment from roots to leaves to help protect root health, suppress key diseases and maximize yield potential.
Movento®, a foliar nematicide and insecticide, employs systemic action to suppress nematodes and also sucking pests, including scales, mites, psyllids, mealybugs and aphids. Movento moves from leaf to root to protect the entire plant, providing a high level of residual efficacy that extends into new plant growth.
Though nematodes are an unseen nemesis, their impact – and thus the impact of treatment – is easily seen above ground.
"The results have been great," Garcia report. "We've seen an increase of vigor within the tree from spurred growth and an increase in crop yield. Nematodes are always going to be out there and we're always going to be fighting them. So, we will continue on that maintenance schedule with the applications of Movento and Velum One."
Hear California PCAs and growers talk about the challenges they face with nematode control in existing orchards.
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