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Solving the Nematode Puzzle

Solving the Nematode Puzzle

Lowering Costs, Increasing Yields

Davis and Phillips used the imidicloprid/Abound treatment this year to help shave costs on seed treatments. The results have been positive.

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“As far as expenses, we have less money per acre in our cotton crop,” said Davis. “And I have no doubt – barring some disaster before harvest – that we’ll exceed last year’s yields.”

Phillips is also positive about the outlook. “The last time we had cotton in these fields, it made 1,800 pounds. To me, this cotton looks better than that.”

He also adds a slightly different view of the challenge.

“A lot of growers in Georgia think stink bugs are our number one pest,” he stated. “But I think the nematode is. It’s robbed more yield than any other pest besides a plant bug in the Mississippi Delta. Those growers are spending roughly $200 an acre to control plant bugs, and we’re losing about $200 an acre to nematodes.

“Our question is, why wouldn’t a grower be using nematode resistant varieties and Telone or Velum Total?”

Sampling Is the Key Step

Kemerait doesn’t mind sounding like a broken record. But nematode sampling in the fall following harvest is just that important.

“Sampling gives growers a strong idea of what they can expect the following season,” he said. “They need to know what they’re going back into, regardless of what they’re going to plant. We know cotton prices aren’t where we want them to be. But it just makes economic sense to spend a little money on sampling now to help make the right management decisions for the coming season.

“It all starts with knowing what type of nematode is in their field and what those populations are. From there – between the consultant and Extension staffs all working together – we can help a grower make the right decisions.”