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SPECIAL SESSION: Impact of Environmental Changes on Nematode Communities and Soil Health

Cropping system practices on nematode communities and soil health
Marisol Quintanilla - Michigan State University, Entomology Department.

Plant parasitic nematodes (PPN) limit yields in crops in Michigan & USA. Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) is considered to be the most damaging pathogen in N. America. Root lesion nematode (RLN) & Northern root knot nematode (NRKN) are common in crops & cause yield losses. The Michigan Applied Nematology lab has conducted trials to evaluate the effect of cropping systems on these nematodes & soil health to provide applied solutions. We have evaluated compost & manures, nematicides & seed treatments, rotations of SCN resistant varieties, surveys of vegetable & field crops, & evaluation of cover crops. A compost blend by Morgan Composting has resulted in death of RLN in lab trials, even in concentrations as low as 5%. An SCN trial identified a reduction of SCN juveniles after the incorporation of two tons/acre of chicken manure ahead of corn. Several nematicides have been evaluated, & results detected for PPN control. Conversely, we rarely observed a reduction of nematodes (i.e. SCN or Beet Cyst Nematode (BCN)) with seed treatments with the exception of a trial with Abamectin. We have looked at rotation of resistant varieties. Rotating sources of resistance for SCN resulted in a reduction of SCN & yield increases. We have conducted two state-wide surveys in vegetables & field crops. Some conclusions: NRKN nematode where low in soil from vegetable fields rotated with corn. Cover crops increased beneficials. In the field crops survey, we are correlating tillage & soil type with corn needle nematode. Finally, cover crops are being evaluated for host status to PPN & soil health.