Protect corn from nematode damage

Published on: 13:47PM Aug 28, 2009

Dr. Kurt Jones

Management options for corn nematodes (microscopic, thread-like round worms that are parasites on or in root systems) are limited, but the first seed treatment nematicide for corn was recently registered for use. A seed treatment nematicide can protect corn seeds from day one, promoting strong stands and emergence. Plus, seed treatments protect growers’ corn seed investments. 

Some other management practices can suppress or limit the growth of corn nematode populations:

  • Crop rotation, although effectiveness depends on the nematodes species and availability of other host plants
  • Weed control to eliminate alternative hosts, especially grasses
  • Tillage
  • Organophosphate or carbamate insecticides at planting
  • Agronomics to minimize yield loss
    • Nitrogen management
    • Water management (irrigation)
    • Early-season weed, disease and insect control to minimize crop stress
Depending on your risk level, look for control options that manage the species you are most concerned about to protect yield potential.