NEWS & UPDATES
The golden nematode is the world’s biggest potato pest. It is native to the Andes in South America and was first detected in the U.S. in 1941 on Long Island. A state and federal quarantine was enforced in NY after the discovery. The golden nematode is a very serious problem throughout Europe and the U.S. and if it continues to spread, the damages will amount to about 5 billion dollars.
Why it's a pest:
In it’s larval stage, the golden nematode bores into the roots of host plants and feeds on their juices. It can go unnoticed for years since the above ground damage is not visible yet. Poor plant growth in one or more areas of the field is a strong indicator of an infestation. As the infestation spreads, so does the damage to the fields and crops.
How it spreads:
The golden nematode is spread primarily through cysts in soil so it is crucial for field workers to clean all the equipment before moving it. It is recommended that growers plant hedgerows between fields and to cover their crops as soon as possible when it is not being used.
How to control it:
There are a few ways to control the golden nematode. One being to plant nematode-resistant potato varieties in rotation with non-host crops. Since introduction, there have been more than 40 new nematode resistant potatoes developed.
Here are some things that you can do to help!
Do not use secondhand containers when harvesting potatoes.
Do not bring used machinery on a farm unless it has been steam cleaned.
Plant only certified seed.
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