Nematodes Nosh on Corn Roots

July 15, 2010 07:39 AM
What’s happening below ground now will determine your above ground corn yield results this fall. That’s why it’s important to take stock of corn root growth at this point during the growing season, says Missy Bauer, Farm Journal Associate Field Agronomist.

“A lot of farmers dismiss nematodes as a pest that only affects corn grown in sandy soils, but that’s not the case,” she says.
Instead, she says minimum and no tillage practices, corn-on-corn production and reduced soil-applied insecticide use contribute to the build up of this pest, regardless of soil type.
She says a 10 percent yield reduction is common in fields infected by cyst nematodes. In extreme situations, losses can near 100 percent.
In the following video, Bauer explains some of the cyst nematode symptoms you can look for this summer as you evaluate corn growth. If the pest is present, she says, plan to take action in the 2011 season.
“There are products on the market now that can address nematodes effectively, and you can also consider rotating crops and other agronomic practices,” she notes.


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