Home Farm Equipment Nematodes may cause 30% losses in Southern Plains cotton

Nematodes may cause 30% losses in Southern Plains cotton


Late summer season and early fall, earlier than cotton and peanut vegetation start to die down, farmers ought to add nematode harm to their scouting regimens.

“Check the low areas in your field,” says Texas AgriLife Extension pathologist Cecilia Monclova-Santana, Lubbock. “Watch for patches of stunted plants,” she says. “Also, pull some plants and check for galling. That will help identify root knot nematodes.”

Galls on cotton roots, appear like small bumps largely in the secondary roots. (Photographs by Cecilia Monclova-Santana)

Uneven development patterns, non-uniform top —some tall and a few quick — point out potential nematode presence, Monclova-Santana says. “Should you see galls, that’s in all probability root knot.” 

Reniform nematodes, generally seen on the Texas Southern Plains, are extra difficult to determine, she provides. Evaluating varieties might be a clue. Stunting and wilting on root knot resistant varieties would possibly point out reniform. “Usually, farmers know if they have reniform.” She says reniform is much less frequent in the Southern Excessive Plains however has been recognized in some counties.

“A spread with a resistance description that’s not behaving as much as its potential and exhibiting stunting or wilting, might be contaminated with reniform,” Monclova-Santana says. “We can do an analysis at the lab here in Lubbock to identify it.”

uneven-growth-monclova.jpgUneven development and lifeless patches attributable to Root-knot nematode and secondary illnesses.

Producers have to know if they’ve nematode infestations, she provides. “On the Southern High Plains, nematode is the No. 1 pathogen problem.”

Nematode losses in cotton may be extreme. “Yield loss to nematodes ranges from around 10% to as high as 30%,” Monclova-Santana says. “A 30% loss would be on highly infested fields planted in a susceptible variety.”

Water points may exacerbate nematode losses. “In West Texas, nematode infestations may co-exist with water stress. Nematode infected plants need more water and lose more water.”

Some farmers may make up for among the loss with good irrigation, which isn’t all the time doable, Monclova-Santana says. “But cotton is resilient; it can bounce back from environmental or pathogen damage. It will compensate if it has enough water. That’s just not possible with many farmers.”

variety-response-reniform-nematode-monclova.jpgSelection response to reniform nematode strain, resistant vs prone, top variations.

She says root knot nematode infects all of the sandy areas in the southern Excessive Plains (roughly 1 million cotton acres), together with the reniform nematode in localized areas.

“We don’t see as much root knot damage on peanuts in the Southern High Plains,” she says. “And the root knot species that affects peanuts is different from the one that damages cotton. That makes peanuts a good rotation for cotton.”

Monclova-Santana says two main issues come from nematode infestations in cotton. “We see damage solely from the presence of nematodes — stunting, wilting and lower yields. But we also see secondary diseases. Nematode infections exacerbate Verticillium wilt and Fusarium wilt and make cotton more susceptible to Rhizoctonia.”

vascular-necrosis-monclova.jpgVascular necrosis attributable to Fusarium wilt in a root knot infested discipline.

She recommends that whereas farmers are scouting for illness strain, in addition they search for nematode an infection signs. “At this point, producers can do nothing to mitigate nematode damage,” she says. “But when they detect nematode presence now, they will make higher selections subsequent 12 months.

“We’re not seeing much pressure on peanuts,” she says, “but peanut producers might look for nematode damage while they scout for pod rot and other diseases.”


Rotation might be a key choice.

“Rotate cotton to peanuts if that’s possible,” Monclova-Santana says. “If they identify reniform nematodes, producers may rotate with sorghum or corn.”

She says some producers plant wheat or rye to decrease root knot nematode populations. Each of these are root knot hosts, nevertheless. “Rye might not be as much of a host, but we don’t see much decrease in nematode populations. On trials here, we determine that rye is a poor host, but still a host.”

She has examined bushy vetch and crimson clover cowl crops to find out root knot nematode exercise.  “Both are susceptible, so that’s not a recommendation.”

On extremely contaminated cotton fields, “our recommendation is rotation and to plant varieties that are resistant or tolerant. Probably the addition of an in-furrow nematicide is needed to control populations.” Dr. Terry Wheeler (AgriLife analysis pathologist) and I put up selection trial outcomes, together with crop efficiency by fiber high quality yearly.”

Monclova-Santana says cotton farmers have a number of choices for nematode resistant varieties. “All the big companies have resistant varieties available for root knot nematode. It’s good to know that farmers have multiple options with varieties they are familiar with. Some seed companies have varieties resistant to reniform nematode. Be aware that a variety with resistance to root knot might not be resistant to reniform; however, all the current (2021) commercial varieties resistant to reniform nematode are also resistant to root-knot nematodes.”


She additionally recommends that growers take a look at TAMU variety trials yearly. “See how particular varieties are behaving in these trials and take a look at their manufacturing potential.

nematodes-monclova.jpgnematodes-roots-monclova.jpgRoots not handled with nematicide vs roots handled with nematicide. Each in the identical trial and site.

“Also, producers need to know if they have nematodes along with secondary diseases — root knot and fusarium or root knot and verticillium, among other possibilities. Look for resistance to that secondary disease. It’s important for a producer to know what disease he has in the field and then choose a variety that addresses both issues.”

She provides that she and Wheeler conduct illness trials yearly and put up the outcomes on the website.

Growers with recognized nematode infections may additionally take into account nematicides.

“Some premium seed treatments include a nematicide. Also available is an in-furrow application of Velum. Aldicarb is another option in the furrow at planting, or oxamyl applied over the top of plants. We are also testing other products.”

Scout now

For now, she recommends producers decide if they’ve nematode populations, whereas vegetation are nonetheless rising, and nematodes stay lively. “August through September is the perfect time to take samples,” she says.  “Soil moisture is important; you need moisture after rain or after irrigation to get a good sample. Soil doesn’t have to be damp but should have some moisture.”

Samples needs to be pulled from the basis space. “Submit samples to the lab in Lubbock. Dr. Wheeler and I will process and let you know.”

She says figuring out nematodes now won’t assist mitigate issues this 12 months, however an evaluation of nematode samples will present data to assist with planning for subsequent 12 months.


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