Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #223213

Title: Processed Biosolids: Unwanted Wastes or Products for Soybean Cyst Nematode Control

item Zasada, Inga

Submitted to: Journal of Nematology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2008
Publication Date: 3/3/2008
Citation: Zasada, I.A. 2008. Processed Biosolids: Unwanted Wastes or Products for Soybean Cyst Nematode Control. Journal of Nematology. 4th National Soybean Cyst Nematode Conference Proceedings. p. 7-10.

Interpretive Summary: Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic worms that attack plants and cause ten billion dollars in crop losses annually in the United States. Farmers face an enormous problem because they lack safe and effective ways of reducing the numbers of nematodes in soils. Consequently, there is intense interest in using nematode management practices that are less harmful to humans and the environment than chemically based methods. One such management practice is the use of waste products (e.g., manure, plant residues, and industrial by-products). This paper summarizes research on the ability of alkaline-stabilized biosolids (i.e., treated sewage sludge) to control the soybean cyst nematode and discusses areas that need to be explored to maximize efficacy. Specific discoveries include the chemical composition of the waste product, the fate of waste product-released chemicals in soil, and the influence of soil properties on the ability of this waste product to control nematodes. These results are significant because they indicate that only through understanding how waste products kill nematodes will consistent and reliable nematode suppression be achieved. Therefore, this research will be used by researchers designing safe and effective means of reducing crop losses caused by the soybean cyst nematode.

Technical Abstract: The concept of utilizing waste products (e.g., manure, plants residues, and industrial by-products) to manage plant-parasitic nematodes is not new, but the widespread implementation of this management practice has still not been realized. The use of waste products for plant-parasitic nematode management is a complex process requiring an understanding of the transformation and generation of active compounds. Factors that require analysis and clarification include lethal concentration levels of organic amendments necessary to kill nematodes, chemical composition of incorporation material, fate and exposure potential to nematodes of compounds released into the soil, and the influence of environmental factors (i.e., temperature, microbial community, soil type) on the activity of organic amendments. Research conducted on a biosolid amendment for Heterodera glycines control highlights the need to understand the mechanism responsible for nematode suppression and how the environment and management practices can be manipulated to improve the effectiveness and reliability of waste products as H. glycines management strategies.