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Poster: Biology & Disease Mgmt: Nematology


Potential of trap cropping for managing root-knot nematode
B. WESTERDAHL (1) (1) University of California Entomology & Nematology Department, U.S.A.

Trap cropping is a nematode management technique that has been tested periodically since the late 1800’s. A susceptible host is planted and larvae of a sedentary parasitic nematode such as root-knot are induced to enter and establish a feeding site. Once this has occurred, and the female begins to mature, she is unable to leave the root. The plants are then destroyed before the life cycle of the nematode can be completed, trapping nematodes within the root. By itself, trap cropping is not likely to provide the same level of control as a fumigant nematicide, because not all nematodes are induced to enter the roots. However, the potential for loss of registration of fumigants for various environmental reasons is great enough that an IPM approach using two or more techniques in combination that will each provide partial control of the nematode population is warranted. Several years of field testing of trap crops with and without a biological nematicide for management of root-knot nematode on carrots demonstrated that trap cropping resulted in statistically significant increases in weight and number of marketable carrots. A wet fallow treatment, in which a trap crop was not planted, but the weeds that germinated following irrigation served to trap nematodes within the roots, followed by tillage two weeks later, also produced a statistically greater yield of marketable carrots than the untreated.