Nematode Advisory Service

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Southern root-knot nematode injury to cotton.

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Sweetpotato fibrous roots with Southern root-knot nematode damage.

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White females of the soybean cyst nematode.

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Severe sting nematode injury to strawberry.

Nematodes are semi-microscopic roundworms that live in all habitats, including soil. Most nematodes are beneficial except those that attack plants or animals. Plant-parasitic nematodes are important pests of just about every plant that is grown in Louisiana. Nematodes cause significant damage to vegetables, fruit trees, ornamentals, turfgrass, and field crops each year. Most of the nematodes that are a problem on plants attack the root system results in stunting, yellowing, wilting, and yield reductions. Although plant-parasitic nematodes cost Louisiana producers and homeowners millions of dollars annually, many of these losses are not correctly identified. Nematode damage is often blamed on something else such as nutrient deficiencies, diseases, insects, or environmental problems. Nematodes are very small and usually require a test to confirm their presence. The Nematode Advisory Service provides the necessary service to correctly identify the problem and provide information on the best methods of managing these pests. Producers, homeowners, landscapers, county agents, agricultural consultants, researchers, and industry representatives use this service each year. Additionally, a number of samples are sent in each year from the Department of Agriculture & Forestry for certification purposes and quarantine purposes for shipment of plant material to other states or countries.

Click on some of the additional links to get more information about plant-parasitic nematodes such as the types of damage nematodes cause, how to collect and send in samples to the Nematode Advisory Service, and best management strategies to use when these pests are causing problems.

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