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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Nematode and Disease Management of Deciduous Fruits

Location: Fruit and Nut Research

Title: Management of Meloidogyne incognita with Jesup (Max-Q) tall fescue grass prior to peach orchard establishment

item Nyczepir, Andrew
item Brannen, Phillip
item Cook, Jeff
item Meyer, Susan

Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/18/2013
Publication Date: 5/1/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Nyczepir, A.P., Brannen, P.M., Cook, J., Meyer, S.L. 2014. Management of Meloidogyne incognita with Jesup (Max-Q) tall fescue grass prior to peach orchard establishment. Plant Disease. 98:625-630.

Interpretive Summary: Preplant fumigant nematicides have traditionally been used to control root-knot nematodes in peach in the southeastern United States. However, in recent years growers have been faced with economic hardships which made it difficult to afford the costs associated with preplant fumigation and (or) not being able to get the land fumigated at the recommended time of year due to a conflict with managing other crops. Finding a nonchemical alternative to preplant chemical control of root-knot nematode is warranted. In 2006, a field study was initiated at the USDA-ARS laboratory in Byron, Georgia, to determine if 1- and 2-year preplant tall fescue grass rotations were comparable to preplant Telone II fumigation. Results indicate that both fescue rotations and fumigation lowered the population density of the Southern root-knot nematode infective-stage juveniles in soil compared with nonfumigated plots prior to planting peach trees. After the peach orchard was established in 2009, tree growth in 2012 and 2013 was greatest in fumigated and both fescue rotation plots and lowest in nonfumigated plots. These data provide useful insights into the potential use of tall fescue grass as an alternative to preplant chemical control of root-knot nematode prior to peach orchard establishment in the Southeast.

Technical Abstract: The effects of two preplant Jesup (Max-Q) tall fescue grass ground cover systems as alternatives to chemical control of Meloidogyne incognita were investigated from 2006-2013. Ground cover establishment was initiated in 2006, in a site known to be infested with M. incognita. Treatments included two ground cover systems: i) 1-year peach followed by a 1-year tall fescue preplant rotation, ii) 2-year tall fescue preplant rotation and iii) 2-year continuous peach. Both Jesup (Max-Q) rotations suppressed (P < 0.05) population densities of M. incognita second-stage juveniles (J2) compared with 2 years continuous peach; no J2 were detected in soil samples taken from 2-year Jesup (MQ) plots. Evaluation of the effects of the ground cover systems on subsequent peach tree planting was initiated in 2008, when herbicide was applied to the fescue ground cover plots and half the continuous peach plots were fumigated with 1,3-D. Peach trees were planted into all plots in 2009. By the end of the experiment (48 months after orchard establishment), trunk diameter was greater (P < 0.01) in both fescue rotations and 1,3-D fumigated plots than in the nonfumigated control plots. Moreover, trunk diameter did not differ among the fescue rotation systems and the fumigated treated plots. Preplant Jesup (Max-Q) tall fescue was as effective as 1,3-D fumigation in increasing tree growth in a root-knot nematode infested site.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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