By Terry Kirkpatrick, Extension Plant Pathologist
As you go about your late-season preparations for soybean harvest, don’t forget nematodes. This year, they are certainly alive and well in the state! And, again as last year, don’t forget that your soybean check-off dollars are at work through the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board that is sponsoring a soybean nematode survey statewide. Thanks to this program, the Arkansas Nematode Diagnostic Laboratory will waive the assay fees for any grower, consultant, county agent or other interested party who sample fields that are currently in soybeans or will be planted to soybean next year anywhere in the state. Knowledge is power, and knowing the nematode status of fields is the best way to develop effective (and cost-effective) nematode management strategies. And lest anyone think that the little microscopic parasites are not costly, note the picture below. This picture was taken last week in a field in southeastern Arkansas infested by the root-knot nematode. Note that proper variety selection (the plots that are still alive!) could be the most important decision that a grower makes where nematodes are concerned.
For information or details of the survey, feel free to contact the Arkansas Nematode Diagnostic Laboratory at (870) 777-9702, 128 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, click on http://courses.uaex.edu/course/index.php?categoryid=63 and log on to our short informational course, “Collecting and Packaging Soil Samples for Nematode Assay”.