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Fight nematodes now

September 2, 2020
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By John Wood, Certis USA Regional Manager, CA South Central Valley

For some, harvest may look like the end of the growing season, but we know that there is still plenty of work to be done during and even post-harvest to guarantee a strong finish for 2020 and to plan ahead for 2021.

One of the most critical things you can do post-harvest and that you can start planning right now is nematode control. If you have nematodes that have been hanging around in your orchards, then remember that post-harvest is one of the times in your growing season where you can get the most from a well-timed application of MeloCon® WG.

If you’ve had nematode pressure at all this season, now is the time to get that under control as we enter dormancy. Don’t hesitate on this or you’ll continue seeing nematode pressure in the future.

If you’re not sure what kind of pressure you are facing, University of California Integrated Pest Management recommends an orchard soil survey to determine what species you are facing and how big their army is.

To conduct the survey, UC-IPM recommends these guidelines:

Divide and Conquer

Divide orchards into sampling blocks. For parcels of fewer than 20 acres, take a minimum of 4 samples.

Pick the Right Samples

Always take soil and root subsamples from an area of the root system where there is soil moisture. That’s where the highest numbers of nematodes will likely be concentrated and will give you the best possible information for your survey.

Ask an Expert

Take the subsamples randomly and place them in separate plastic bags that are sealed and labeled. Talk with your crop advisor or PCA about how to best analyze your samples.

If you know you need to gear up to fight back against nematodes, or if your survey finds them hiding out, the very best tool you can use, in my opinion, is MeloCon WG. I really can’t recommend it enough as an effective control option.

As a nematicide, MeloCon works because it contains a naturally-occurring fungus, Paecilomyces lilacinus, which is a highly effective parasite of all stages of development of common plant-infecting nematodes, especially the eggs and infectious juveniles.

I love a biocontrol that is easy to use and this one really fits the bill in that department. In fact, it boasts several application options. As a wettable powder, it can either be applied as a soil drench or through a drip trickle or sprinkler microjet system. Because it dissolves quickly in water, you won’t need to worry about it clogging your irrigation or drip tape at all.

If you really want to go big with this one, I like to include a soil-penetrant with MeloCon WG to help it spread in the soil, giving you the coverage you need for maximum control. A soil-wetting agent can help the spores more easily in the soil to the root zone, too. This will ensure that you are getting to the very deepest part of the root to form a barrier against these pests. Even better, MeloCon WG can be tank-mixed with a fertilizer in your post-harvest deep water.

MeloCon WG has too many positive attributes for the space they give me to be the expert here, so I’ll just mention this last one: it has flexibility in spades! MeloCon WG is OMRI Listed® and is widely used in both organic and conventional orchards. It also features a 4-hour REI and a zero-day PHI, offering some serious flexibility for you in this harvest and post-harvest time. 

When the work is not quite finished, sometimes you need a versatile solution that can help you finish the job strong. MeloCon WG is just that tool that can control nematodes effectively and give you the flexibility you need to concentrate on all your harvest and post-harvest activities.

Remember, if you need me or any of the California Certis sales team members, simply reach out at asktheexpert@certisusa.com.  We are here for you as you finish this season with a bang!

This series is part of a partnership with Tree Nut Farm Press. You can read the original here.

 

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