Cotton farmers in Missouri commonly apply a single rate of aldicarb throughout the field at planting to protect their crop from Meloidogyne incognita, even though these nematodes are spatially aggregated. Our purpose was to determine the effect of site-specific application of aldicarb on cotton production in a field infested with these nematodes in 1997 and 1998. Cotton yields were collected from sites not treated with aldicarb (control), sites receiving aldicarb at the standard recommended rate of 0.58 kg a.i./ha, and sites receiving specific aldicarb rates based on the soil population densities of second-stage infective juveniles of root-knot nematode. Yields for the standard rate and site-specific rate treatments were similar and greater (P = 0.05) than the control treatment. Less aldicarb was used for the site-specific than the uniform-rate treatment each year--46% less in 1997 and 61% less in 1998. Costs associated with the site-specific treatment were very high compared with the uniform-rate treatment due to a greater number of soil samples analyzed for nematodes. Site-specific application of aldicarb for root-knot nematode management in cotton may pose fewer environmental risks than the uniform-rate application of aldicarb.
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