As a child, we are often afraid of the invisible monsters that go bump in the night. And as an adult, we learn that sometimes it is true – we should be wary of what we can’t see. Nematodes. They may be invisible to the naked eye, but growers affected can certainly attest to the damage the pests caused to their yield and wallet.
Unfortunately, due to its broad host range and widespread distribution, the root-knot nematode is considered to be one of the most economically damaging plant-parasitic nematodes and has the ability to move freely in the soil and directly to machinery, surface water or irrigation spray sites.
Soybean roots usually exhibit visible galls, but be careful not to confuse them with Rhizobium nodules. Galls are an integral part of the root; nodules are not. To distinguish between the two, researchers at Clemson University advise you to run your fingers down a root pinching the root as you go. Rhizobium nodules will pop off but galls will stay put.
This resource, provided by the University of Maryland Extension, offers more information with photos, symptoms and management strategies for this damaging pest. However, if your fields are prone to the root-knot nematode, by the time you identify the symptoms, damage may have already occurred.
Eliminate the risk with NK® brand soybeans which are proven to exhibit excellent tolerance against root-knot nematodes, as well as other pests and diseases. Starting your season with the right seed and seed treatment can not only save you a headache, but also can help you maximize your return on investment at harvest.
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