Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 30, 2008
Publication Date: June 30, 2008
Citation: Stetina, S.R., Pettigrew, W.T., Molin, W.T. 2008. Influence of Planting Date and Tillage on Reniform Nematode Populations in Cotton. Phytopathology. 98:S151 Technical Abstract: Planting dates and tillage practices were examined for potential impact on reniform nematode (Rotylenchulus reniformis) populations in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). A field trial conducted in 2005 and 2006 in Stoneville, MS examined the influence of early (April 1) or normal (May 1) planting dates and conventional or no-till production on early-season root infection by reniform nematode and seasonal changes in the nematode population in the soil. Treatment effects were evaluated on four cultivars (DeltaPine 444 BR, DeltaPine 555 BR, FiberMax 960 BR, and Stoneville 4892 BR) in a randomized complete block design with a split-plot treatment arrangement (main plot is planting date x tillage, subplot is cultivar) and four replications. Soil populations of reniform nematode were measured at planting and harvest, and root infection was assessed 3 to 5 weeks after planting. No consistent interactions between cultivar and either planting date or tillage were detected, so data were averaged across cultivars. Effects on early-season root infection varied from year to year. In 2005, there were no differences in root infection with respect to tillage, but in 2006 more nematodes were found infecting roots in conventionally-tilled plots than in plots that had not been tilled. Planting date effects also were variable. In 2005, more root infection occurred in plots planted at the normal time than in plots planted early. The opposite was true in 2006, when more root infection occurred in plots planted early. However, differences in early-season root infection did not result in changes in reniform nematode soil populations in either year. These findings suggest that modifications to either planting dates or tillage practices will not reduce reniform nematode populations in cotton.