Corn nematode threat growing in Midwest

Published on: 16:22PM Aug 11, 2009
Changing production practices are escalating corn nematode populations. These microscopic, thread-like round worms are an increasing threat to top-quality corn production.
Some plant parasitic nematodes are sensitive to soil disturbance, so the increase in no-till acres has created a more hospitable environment. Corn-on-corn production gives nematodes the resources to thrive year after year. And, switching to insect-resistant corn and pyrethroid insecticides has moved growers away from using organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, which provided some suppression of nematodes.
Corn nematodes have been found in every major corn-growing county in the U.S. These maps show the risk levels for nematode pressure in the Midwest and South.

Root-knot Nematode Distribution in the U.S. (South)