Agronomy •  2023-10-12

Why farmers need a nematicide seed treatment

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potato cluster out of the ground

They may be small and invisible to the naked eye, but nematodes are a yield-robbing pest that warrant serious consideration when selecting seed treatments to protect your corn next season.

Both free-living and plant-parasitic nematodes coexist in soils. Beneficial nematodes (free-living) play an important role in the breakdown and release of nutrients from organic matter. Parasitic nematodes feed on or in plant roots, stems and other microorganisms for survival. While crop-damaging plant-parasitic nematodes make up a relatively small component of the overall soil nematode population, they can pose a serious risk to plant health and crop yield.

Most plant-parasitic nematodes live below ground with a life cycle that typically lasts about 30 days. Plant-parasitic nematodes reproduce quickly, infesting crops with multiple overlapping generations within a single growing season. Nematode eggs can overwinter, making early-season crops particularly vulnerable to nematode damage when spring soils warm and nematodes begin their life cycle.

Nematode damage usually occurs in small patchy patterns that can be easily confused with other crop stressors like nutrient deficiency or drought. Yield losses from nematodes are often a result of root injuries and subsequent loss of nutrient and water uptake. Nematodes can also facilitate transmission of plant diseases that weaken plants and increase the risk of other disease infections.

Unfortunately, any above ground symptoms like wilting, chlorosis, and stunted plants are difficult to visually attribute to nematode damage. Soil sampling is the only way to assess the presence of parasitic nematodes. Managing problem nematodes requires implementing crop management practices like rotation, sanitation or the use of nematicide seed treatments.

Lumialza™ nematicide seed treatment is a biological nematicide that shields corn roots from harmful nematodes for over 80 days while cooperating with beneficial organisms to enhance crop vigour and yield potential. This nematicide seed treatment creates a living barrier or protection around plant roots, encompassing the entire expanding area of root growth. Lumialza nematicide seed treatment provides protection from key yield-robbing nematodes while cooperating with beneficial organisms for improved soil health.

Lumialza often shows a noticeable difference in corn fields. Protecting yield potential by reducing nematode injury and increasing root biomass, Lumialza provides early season nematode protection at planting with extended protection into the growing season. Lumialza increases root biomass, plant vigour and crop uniformity by creating an optimal environment for root growth, crop development and uniformity.

Nematodes are often overlooked as a serious corn pest, but just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t creating problems and cutting into crop yield.

For more information about nematode testing, protection or Lumialza nematicide seed treatment, consult your trusted agronomist, retailer, or local Corteva Agriscience™ Territory Manager for advice.