Long a pest of cotton in the South, the reniform nematode is beginning to impact soybeans throughout the Gulf Coast area, as well as into the Carolinas, as operations are diversified to include soybeans.

According to researchers at the University of Georgia, the reniform nematode gets its name from the female bodies, which enlarge at maturity to become kidney-shaped. The life cycle of these pests is very short even under ideal conditions, with egg hatch and development into an egg-laying adult in as little as three weeks. However, during that short life span, each female typically lays between 40 and 70 eggs, which can lead to a very rapid buildup of this nematode.

According to researchers at the University of Arkansas Extension, reniform nematodes may be distributed throughout entire fields rather than confined in hot spots, making problems more difficult to notice visually. When this happens, yield losses are uniform across the field and may be difficult to detect. Reniform nematodes also have the most success in soil types that contain considerably more silt or clay; however, they can live and reproduce in nearly any soil type.

While some cultural practices can help reduce the spread of the reniform nematode, the Louisiana State University AgCenter explains that fallowing land is not as effective for controlling this pest as it can survive for longer periods in air-dried soil than other nematodes. This also increases the possibility of spreading the nematode to uninfested areas.

The LSU AgCenter also recommends planting corn in fields with high reniform nematode populations. Since corn is a poor host crop, it can break the lifecycle and decrease nematode population 50 to 60 percent in one year.

Syngenta solution

Because both cotton and soybeans are hosts to the reniform nematode, a rotation of the two crops may result in extremely high populations of the reniform nematode after only a few seasons. Avicta® Complete Beans 500 seed treatment nematicide/insecticide/fungicide with Vibrance® seed treatment fungicide provides you with unmatched protection against a broad range of early-season nematodes, insects and diseases to promote vigorous plant growth, quicker canopy and larger root mass. Through the RootingPower capabilities of sedaxane, the active ingredient in Vibrance, soybean plants start strong and develop healthier, more robust root systems that lead to consistently higher yields.

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