Managing potato cyst nematodes without nematicides

Review of current practices for dealing with potato cyst nematodes in the UK and discussion of alternative management techniques being researched at Harper Adams University College.

Year of Publication2009

The potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida limits efficient potato production in the UK. It is present in over 60% of potato-growing land and continues to be spread via soil movement on machinery into previously uninfested fields. For many years an integrated approach utilising crop rotation, partially resistant cultivars and nematicides (granular and fumigant) has been advocated. In practice, however, nematicides have been the cornerstone of management programmes. Within the European Union concerns about the environment, pesticide residues and legislation changing the emphasis on the assessment of plant protection products from a risk to a hazard-based system is restricting the availability of nematicides. The situation is likely to worsen during the next five years, as products undergoing routine review may not be re-approved for use. Ongoing research at Harper Adams considers a range of alternative management techniques such as biological control with the fungus Pochonia chlamydosporia, trap cropping with Solanum sisymbrifolium and the use of plant-derived extracts. These methods, which are compatible with nematicides, could be integrated with crop rotation and resistant cultivars, were the availability of nematicides to be further restricted in the UK.

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