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The microscopic, yield-robbing pests known as nematodes may be causing more damage to U.S. cornfields than experts previously thought.
But prudent field-testing, timely weed control and application of new crop-protection products on the market can reduce the risk of major damage, says Bayer CropScience agronomist Ray Knake.
“You’re never going to win the war against nematodes,” Knake told no-tillers during last January’s 19th annual National No-Tillage Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. “All you can do is try to manage them to reduce your yield losses.”
Knake says no-tillers must know what types of nematodes are in their fields to better understand the damage they can do and how it occurs. In general, no-tillers could see a number of different nematodes in their fields, but the following are of concern:
“The damage they can cause can lead to a 30% yield loss, and there may only be one aboveground symptom,” Knake says.
Knake says the population threshold that is considered a risk for yield losses in corn can vary…