INCORPORATING A NATURAL soil-borne fungus into potato-beds could help reduce potato cyst nematode populations.

Field trials have shown the Pochonia chlamydosporia fungus, isolated from soils by BioNem, can reduce mean nematode multiplication rates by 50% compared with untreated plots.

But BioNem has so far been unable to secure funding to develop a commercial product, says the firm”s David Crump. “With a relatively small amount of additional funding we would be able to get a commercial product to growers within 3-4 years.”