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Considerations Basic to Nematode Control

The first step in diagnosing a crop-production problem in which nematodes may be a factor is to collect and identify the nematodes that are present in the involved soil or plant material.

Accurate species identification is essential because of differences in nematode life habits, host ranges, and pathogenic effects on various host plants. Distribution data are also important for determining whether the nematodes are associated or coincident with the disease problem. Since nematode control is difficult in an established planting (this is especially true for perennial crops), the best approach is to assay for potential nematode problems before planting. If a potential problem exists, control measures will be easier to execute. The biology of the nematode, its ecological relationships, its methods of spread, the value of the host crop, and the cultural practices used in the particular area are important factors that must be considered in developing control measures.

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Considerations Basic to Nematode Control

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