Site-Specific Management of Nematodes Pitfalls and Practicalities

  • Ken Evans
  • Richard M. Webster
  • Paul D. Halford
  • Anthony D. Barker
  • Michael D. Russell
Keywords: gps, ipm, potato cyst nematode


The greatest constraint to potato production in the United Kingdom (UK) is damage by the potato cyst nematodes (PCN) Globodera pallida and G. rostochiensis. Management of PCN depends heavily on nematicides, which are costly. Of all the inputs in UK agriculture, nematicides offer the largest potential cost savings from spatially variable application, and these savings would be accompanied by environmental benefits. We mapped PCN infestations in potato fields and monitored the changes in population density and distribution that occurred when susceptible potato crops were grown. The inverse relationship between population density before planting and multiplication rate of PCN makes it difficult to devise reliable spatial nematicide application procedures, especially when the pre-planting population density is just less than the detection threshold. Also, the spatial dependence found suggests that the coarse sampling grids used commercially are likely to produce misleading distribution maps.