Cotton farmers need to be wary of diseases like target spot and bacterial blight

by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

In addition to root-knot nematodes and target spot disease, Georgia cotton farmers should be prepared to fight bacterial blight, said University of Georgia Cooperative Extension plant pathologist Bob Kemerait.

Kemerait advises producers, specifically those who farm in fields with a history of bacterial blight, to consider planting resistant varieties and managing the residue from last year’s crop. Farmers could also rotate the affected field away from cotton for at least one season. Continue reading

Southern SARE research shows cover crops reduce pest populations

Preliminary research from University of Florida has found that incorporating root-knot nematode-resistant cover crops in a perennial peanut rotation reduces pest numbers in the cash crop and improves yields.

The results may be helpful for producers who choose top-yielding, yet susceptible, peanut cultivars, as well as resistant cultivars that historically carry a lower yield. Root-knot nematodes, soil parasites predominant in areas with hot climates and short winters, can reduce perennial peanut yields and affect plant health by feeding on plant roots. Continue reading

Combination of tactics important to control nematodes

In Southeast Farm Press

Both Clemson University and North Carolina State University are issuing warning bells for nematodes in the Carolinas.

The nematode issue was front in center at both Clemson’s corn and soybean production meeting in Dillon, S.C., Feb. 8 and at N.C. State’s Road Show production meeting the following day in Plymouth, N.C. A concern in both states is the Southern root knot nematode and the soybean cyst nematode. Continue reading

UGA cotton research yields root-knot-nematode-resistant varieties

by Clint Thompson, University of Georgia

University of Georgia cotton breeder Peng Chee’s groundbreaking research in molecular genetics provides Georgia cotton farmers with root-knot-nematode-resistant cotton varieties. It also garnered Chee national recognition in January, when he was awarded the 2016 Cotton Genetics Research Award during the 2017 Beltwide Cotton Improvement Conference in Dallas.

Chee, a professor in UGA’s Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, identified nematode resistance as a top priority when he started working on the UGA Tifton Campus in 2000. Continue reading

How to get ahead of nematodes in cotton

In Delta Farm Press

by Patrick Shepard, Delta Farm Press

Louisiana witnessed a shift from root-knot to reniform nematodes in the late 1980s and 1990s. “We conducted nematode survey work in cotton in the mid-1990s, and found that 50 percent of the fields had reniform and only 25 percent had root-knot,” says Louisiana State University AgCenter plant pathologist Charles Overstreet.

“However, we’re now moving slightly back in the other direction because we’re rotating more with corn; we’re now finding a mixture of both reniform and root-knot in cotton fields. Corn is a host for root-knot, but not reniform, so yearly rotation helps manage reniform nematodes. Many Louisiana growers now plant one year with cotton and one with corn.” Continue reading

Assess your disease and nematode management program this fall

In Southeast Farm Press

Bob Kemerait, University of Georgia Plant Pathologist

“What exactly is it you do?” I am asked time and again.  “I am a plant pathologist for the University of Georgia,” I say, which is met with a blank stare until I say, “That is like being a veterinarian for plants.”

In truth, “a veterinarian for plants” may not be the best description. Plant pathologists are less able to heal a single affected plant than they are to protect an entire crop.  I have begun to think of my vocation as more of a “zookeeper,” which is a better moniker for corralling and containing a host of wild beasts like fungi, bacteria, nematodes and viruses.  When these beasts escape, for they are truly cunning, it is my job to work with farmers, Extension agents, consultants, researchers and agricultural industry to put them back in their cages as quickly as possible. Continue reading

How to manage nematodes in cotton and soybeans

In Delta Farm Press

By Charles Overstreet, LSU AgCenter

Louisiana has historically experienced losses due to plant-parasitic nematodes in cotton and soybean every year. Some years these losses can be severe and other years fairly minor. The greatest losses occur in years when additional stresses occur during the growing season with drought a primary contributor.

The two major nematodes of both cotton and soybean are the Southern root-knot and reniform nematodes.

Continue reading