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Protect Your Soybeans from Invasive Nematode Damage

April 19, 2017
An agronomic image showing a lesion nematode.

With soybean planting beginning soon in many areas, it’s already time to prepare for the risks associated with the early growth stages – a critical time in soybean development. One such risk is the various nematode species that are present in the South:

  • Root knot nematode: This nematode is one of the most economically damaging plant-parasitic nematodes. Root knot nematodes can move freely in the soil and can also be easily transported by machinery, surface water or irrigation. Moisture or heat stress can increase soybean damage levels from root knot nematodes. Soybeans infested with root knot nematodes will exhibit signs of nutrient deficiency, including stunted growth and wilted leaves.
  • Reniform nematode: Each female reniform nematode can lay 40–70 eggs during her lifespan, which can lead to quick reproduction. According to the University of Arkansas, these nematodes typically disperse themselves across a field, rather than in hot spots, making them particularly difficult to control. Being proactive about management against reniform nematodes gives growers the best chances of control.
  • Lesion nematode: These nematodes have the ability to suppress root growth, causing an overall stunted soybean plant, which contributes to yield loss. Some lesion nematode symptoms include dark lesions and browning on the soybean plant; however, symptoms typically go unnoticed.

According to the University of Alabama, symptoms caused by nematodes are not usually specific enough to permit diagnosis by examination, so it’s important to sample soils and roots in order to understand what nematode pressures are affecting an operation. For the most accurate results, Syngenta recommends soil sampling in the late summer or fall. However, sampling in the spring to know what nematode pressures are an issue can help growers to plan accordingly, giving their soybeans a better chance to start strong.

For protection against a wide variety of damaging nematode species, Syngenta recommends applying Avicta® Complete Beans 500 seed treatment nematicide/insecticide/fungicide with Vibrance® fungicide seed treatment. It offers proven, comprehensive protection, increases root health and helps to boost yields.

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