Catch nematodes after lifting spuds
POTATO growers plagued by potato cyst nematode should consider fumigating after harvest rather than before planting.
Successful fumigation depends on warm, moist soil to succeed, says Pat Haydock of the PCN research group at Harper Adams College, Newport, Shropshire. "Without it fumigation is a waste of time and money."
Such conditions are more likely post-harvest, especially in a season like this, he adds. "It doesnt matter at what stage in the rotation fumigation is carried out, provided conditions are optimal."
A reduction of 80% of viable nematodes is possible, allowing crops to be planted on previously heavily infested fields, although nematicides may still be needed, he points out.