The effects of Brassica green manures on plant parasitic and free living nematodes used in combination with reduced rates of synthetic nematicides
AbstractBrassica plants once incorporated into soil as green manures have recently been shown to have biofumigant properties and have the potential of controlling plant-parasitic nematodes. In Washington State, plant-parasitic nematodes are successfully managed with synthetic nematicides. However, some of the synthetic nematicides became unavailable recently or their supply is limited leaving growers with few choices to control plant-parasitic nematodes. The objective of this project was to evaluate the effects of Brassica green manures on their own and in combination with reduced rates of synthetic nematicides on plant-parasitic nematodes and free living nematodes. In a greenhouse experiment and field trials in three seasons, Brassica green manures in combination with half the recommended rate of 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D, Telone) reduced root knot nematode, Meloidogyne chitwoodi to below detection levels, and reduced lesion nematodes, Pratylenchus penetrans and stubby root nematodes, Paratrichodorus allius, to below economic thresholds. The combination treatments did not affect the beneficial free-living nematode populations and the nonpathogenic Pseudomonas. The total cost of growing and soil-incorporating Brassica crops as green manures in combination with reduced rates of 1,3-D was approximately 35% lower than the present commercial costs for application for the full rate of this fumigant. Integrating conventional management practices with novel techniques fosters sustainability of production systems and can increase economic benefit to producers while reducing chemical input.
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