Crop Protection

Soil pest issues surface

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10 December 2022, UK: Soil pests are an increasing threat to potato production in the UK. Climatic change has notably raised issues with PCN and wireworm, while growers’ options for control have continued to decline.

Nemathorin is recognised as offering by far the best available granular nematicide control of PCN, along with reducing the impacts of other soil pests.

Its value lies in both protecting yields of the current crop, along with the reduction in multiplication of PCN as the season progresses, reports Syngenta Technical Manager, Andy Cunningham.

That’s a key part of sustainable integrated pest management (IPM), along with techniques including extended rotations, variety selection and biofumigation.

Now, growers and agronomists are turning to Nemathorin as issues with other soil pests pose an increasing challenge.

“Wireworm is thriving with more stewardship grassland, a greater area of maize for biomass and non-inversion tillage of cereal crops in the rotation.”

“All these factors have been identified by the FERA Enigma R&D initiative as favourable to the pest, where feeding damage can result in high levels of unmarketable tubers,” Andy warned.

Furthermore, changing climatic conditions and prolonged warmer soils have been attributed to a shortening of the wireworm life cycle and the potential to reproduce faster. “Techniques for wireworm control are becoming ever more important,” he added.

Results of new trials in 2022 have also shown Nemathorin delivered a highly effective reduction in spraing transmitted by  free-living nematodes (FLN) – with a 160% increase in marketable tubers meeting processing specification, compared to untreated.

Both PCN and FLN have been associated with weakened plants becoming more susceptible to the effects of drought, stress and the impact of diseases such as verticillium wilt and alternaria – which combined can lead to premature senescence, or early potato dieback.

“Protection of the crop from soil pest damage, along with enhanced tuber quality from the reduction of spraing, can help achieve the high yields essential to counter increasing costs and deliver sustainably profitable returns from potato production.”       

New Nemathorin packaging

This season will see the introduction of the new Granupac packaging for Nemathorin.

A result of the long-term investment in the future of Nemathorin, the new packs feature innovative developments to make handling easier and faster at planting, including integral grab handles, ring-pull opening and improved stacking.

A universal adapter fits existing applicators, with clean flow into the hopper and an opaque pack to visually check filling. The packs are returnable for future refilling.

The phased introduction of the 20 kg Granupac during 2023 will mean growers may still receive some original Surefill containers alongside the new packs this season.

Also Read: World Soil Day 2022: FAO publishes first global report on black soils

(For Latest Agriculture News & Updates, follow Krishak Jagat on Google News)

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