31 Aug Trudan8 & Sordan79 As a Rotational Crop for Nematode Control
Why Should I Care About Nematodes?
Nematodes are unsegmented multicellular worm-like organisms found in almost all habitats. Certain nematodes species can cause significant damage to plants, ranging from negligible harm to complete crop destruction. Nematodes are especially detrimental to vegetable crops. When nematodes attack root systems, they inhibit the uptake of water and nutrients into the plant.
Moreover, as most nematodes directly damage the root systems, they also contribute to secondary infestations of fungi or bacteria which directly affect the crop’s yield potential. For those crops in which the root system is the marketable pro
duct (e.g., carrots, potatoes, beets), significant losses can occur even when nematodes are present in low populations, as a result of the aesthetic damage to the final product.
Each year, nematodes cause billions of dollars of loss from
reduced marketable yield and significant crop destruction.
What Can I Do To Control Them?
As with many other pests, an integrated crop management approach is necessary to reduce nematode damage. One of the easiest ways to naturally control nematodes is by establishing a crop rotation program with a non-host crop or a crop that has proven nematode-control properties such as sorghum sudangrass.
What are the benefits of Sorghum Sudangrass?
Sorghum sudangrass is an annual grass that produces large amounts of dry matter per acre. It can be cropped as hay, or planted after a short-season summer crop and used solely as a green manure cover crop. The organic matter provided by sorghum crop residue increases soil nutrients and improves crop health. A few selected sorghum sudangrass hybrids have been proven to effectively control nematodes.
The vegetative material of certain
species of sorghum sudangrass contain
dhurrin, a natural plant compound,
which has been proven to inhibit
nematode’s life cycle.2
The level of dhurrin within the plantvaries depending on sorghum hybrid,
age of the crop, environment, and
growing conditions.1, 3
Not all sorghum sudangrass species
have nematicidal properties.1
S&W Seed Co., under its brand Sorghum Partners®, commercializes high quality seed of
proprietary sorghum sudangrass hybrids Trudan 8 and Sordan 79 both which have been proven
to significantly reduce nematode populations when used in rotation with vegetable crops. 1, 3, 4