Submitted to: University of Georgia Research Report
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: December 2, 2002
Publication Date: April 12, 2003
Citation: Timper, P., Davis, R.F. 2003. Reproduction of the southern root-knot nematode on winter cover crops used in cotton production. 2002 Georgia Cotton Research and Extension Report. p.323-324. Interpretive Summary: Interpretive Summary not required.
Technical Abstract: Winter cover crops are used in conventional and conservation tillage to reduce soil erosion and increase soil organic matter. Traditionally, small grains such as wheat and rye are planted before cotton in Georgia. However, there is growing interest in legumes because they contribute nitrogen to the subsequent crop and because they provide habitat and a food source (nectar) for beneficial insects. Most small grain and legume cover crops are hosts for root-knot nematodes. The southern root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) is the most wide-spread nematode pathogen of cotton in the southeast. Our objective was to determine reproduction of the southern root-knot nematode on rye and various legume cover crops in the greenhouse. The following crops were tested: Wrens Abruzzi rye, Paradana balansa clover, Dixie crimson clover, Cherokee red clover, Berseem clover, AU Sunrise crimson clover, Early hairy vetch, Cahaba vetch, and Hairy vetch. In both trials of the experiment, most of the legumes were good hosts for the southern root-knot nematode. Rye, Cahaba vetch, and Cherokee red clover were relatively poor hosts for nematode reproduction. Rye and Cahaba vetch produced less than 10% of the eggs on Hairy vetch whereas Cherokee red clover produced 14 to 25% of the eggs on Hairy vetch. If growers are concerned about the southern root-knot nematode, then winter cover crops of either Rye, Cahaba vetch, or Cherokee red clover should have a lower risk of building up damaging nematode populations than nematode-susceptible legume crops.