Kirkpatrick said crop rotation continues to be a tried and true nematode management method, but often the rotation options are not economically viable.

Growers need more nematode resistant varieties. There are only a limited number of cotton varieties resistant to root-knot nematodes and none resistant to reniform or Columbia lance. Kirkpatrick also said growers need new fumigants, but those are not on the immediate horizon.

Until then, Kirkpatrick said site specific management techniques offer the best hope of economical nematode management.

“Conceptually, economically and environmentally, it makes a lot of sense to use site specific, precision ag technology to target field hot spots because nematodes are not normally uniformly distributed across a field,” he said.

 Farmers, consultants and researchers can visually and through soil sampling indentify problematic nematode areas of fields. “We know a lot about nematodes and their relationship to soil types, but we do not know nearly enough. However, we know enough to move forward and develop field maps for site specific treatments.”