Healthy soils are the foundation for successful farming and sustained food production. They are rich in beneficial soil organisms that help improve soil quality. The balanced coexistence of beneficial organisms helps plants improve water and nutrient use, enhancing their tolerance to pests, diseases and environmental stresses. However, when the soil balance is altered, often unintentionally by changes in land and crop management, detrimental organisms such as plant-parasitic nematodes and other natural antagonists take over.
Plant-parasitic nematodes are a threat to food production. Unlike their beneficial free-living counterparts, plant-parasitic nematodes feed upon and destroy plant roots, affecting plant metabolism and lowering plant defences. In their weakened condition, plants become susceptible to diseases and other stresses, leading to reduced yield quality and quantity.
Modern nematicides should be effective on plant-parasitic nematode species while contributing to sustain healthy soils, which are critical for high and sustained crop production. The proper balance of beneficial soil organisms in healthy soils helps promote strong root systems for enhanced water and nutrient absorption, and improved tolerance to biological and environmental stress. Thus, modern and sustainable farming practices require nematode management tools and practices that target the enemies of plant roots and support beneficials that improve and sustain soil health.
Solutions that have excellent compatibility with naturally existing soil beneficial organisms and with soil-applied biologicals are important. A high compatibility with important soil organisms, including beneficial fungi, beneficial bacteria and non-target beneficial nematodes is also necessary. These beneficial soil organisms contribute to healthy soil around the root zone (rhizosphere), help suppress soil pests and diseases and play important roles in the food web surrounding plant roots.
Remember to start at the roots to protect the future of your farm. Ensure the soil environment the roots live in allows your crops to thrive and fulfil their potential for a bountiful harvest.