IPM focus to target PCN populations

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18 January 2022UK: Early intervention with an Integrated Pest Management programme is now recognised as crucial for long-term sustainable control of Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN).

Every cyst left in the soil at the end of the nematodes’ life cycle typically contains 400 to 600 eggs, each with a viable juvenile.

Research reported by the AHDB identified populations of G. pallida multiplied 46 to 100-fold from an initial population of fewer than 10 eggs per gram of soil. Multiplication of PCN is greater when the initial infestation is low, it warned.

“Given the evidence that PCN can multiply from population levels that are not detected to highly damaging levels in one susceptible crop, even the slightest infestation should be taken seriously.”

AHDB PCN Grower Guide, 2018

Issues have been amplified in recent seasons with the more difficult to control G. pallida becoming by far the dominant PCN species, compared to G. rostochiensis, highlighted Syngenta Technical Manager, Michael Tait.

“The viability of G. pallida cysts is 30% slower to naturally decline, creating greater concerns through the rotation,” he pointed out.

“It has also been shown the hatching period of G. pallida can last 50% longer – potentially for about 18 weeks after planting.”     

That emphasises the importance of accurate Nemathorin application and incorporation, to ensure an effective concentration of nematicide remains evenly distributed throughout the target soil profile for as long as possible.

Nemathorin best practice advice for PCN

  • Follow advice from the Nematicide Stewardship Programme
  • Calibrate application equipment before use
  • Apply at 30 kg/ha broadcast overall
  • Fully Incorporate immediately with a single pass, to an even depth of 15 cm
  • Do not desiccate or harvest crops for at least 17 weeks after application

“Using the full rate of the most effective nematicide, Nemathorin, is crucial to protect crop yield and minimise the risk of populations multiplying through the season, even from very low levels of PCN infestation.”

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