Effects of Phenamiphos, Methyl Bromide, and Fallowing on Pratylenchus Penetrans, Yield of Medicago sativa, and Fusarium Infections


  • C. B. Willis
  • L. S. Thompson


A field study was made of the effects of a residual nematicide (phenamiphos), a fumigant (methyl bromide), and fallowing on the number of root lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus penetrans), forage yields of alfalfa, and the occurrence of Fusariunt spp. in plant roots and soil. Fallowing controlled nematodes initially, but by the end of the second growing season, nematode numbers were as high as in plots which had grown a nematode-susceptible crop. Forage yield was greater in fallowed plots only for the first cut in the year after seeding. Fusarium in alfalfa roots and soil was not reduced by fallowing. Phenamiphos reduced nematode numbers, increased forage yields in 2 of 4 years, and reduced Fusarium infections of taproots. Soil fumigation with methyl bromide gave the best control of nematodes and Fusarium and gave significantly higher forage yields for the 4 years of study following fumigation. The 34% increase in alfalfa yield from fumigated plots over the 4 years indicates that the yield of alfalfa is being reduced significantly by microorganisms. The study does not establish the relative contributions of the root lesion nematodes and Fusarium spp. to the reduction. Key Words: alfalfa, root lesion nematode, population dynamics, control, nematode-fungus-host interaction.