Three Billion Dollars Gone.

Nematodes are the most populous animals on the planet. In fact, if you counted all the animals on Earth, four out of every five would be a nematode. It should be no surprise, then, that they reside in virtually every field.

Even so, many corn and soybean growers aren’t aware they have a problem. Nematodes are too small to see, but they’re causing problems too large to ignore. All soil types – not just sandy soils – can have significant infestations of plant-parasitic nematodes. The Society of Nematologists estimates that plant-parasitic nematodes cause more than $3 billion worth of crop losses annually.

University researchers note that several recent changes in production practices are influencing greater nematode populations in many fields. First, growers used to apply more carbamates and organophosphates, which had some nematicidal activity. No-till practices can also favor higher nematode populations due to lower soil disturbance. Engaging in a corn-on-corn or bean-on-bean rotation is another big influence as well.

Soil sampling is the best way to determine which species of nematodes are in your fields, and at what levels. Check with your state’s land-grant university or Extension agent to find out where to send samples.

Learn where, when and how to sample for nematodes with the VOTiVO Nematode Sampling Guide.

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