19 April 1996

Computing cyst control

COMPUTER mapping can boost control of potato cyst nematode by matching chemical application to degree of infestation, says software specialist Optimix.

Maps give a better indication of population levels compared with bulked samples, it explains. The latter method does not allow for variation in cyst numbers across a field, leaving under-treated hot spots to develop in some areas while overdosing other parts.

Each sample result is entered on to a field map on the computer. A contour map of infestation is then created. The grower determines the rate of nematicide needed to control each population, producing a treatment map which enables the operator to apply an appropriate dose. &#42