Effect of Tillage System and Irrigation on Population Densities of Plant Nematodes in Field Corn


  • B. A. Fortnum
  • D. L. Karlen


Soil populations of plant-parasitic nematodes were monitored bimonthly for 18 months in irrigated and nonirrigated corn plantings using four production systems: conventional and minimum tillage with crop residue returned and minimum tillage with 60% or 90% of previous corn crop residue removed. Populations of Meloidogyne incognita, ScuteUonema brachyurum, Pratylenchus scribneri, and Paratrichodorus christiei varied among the tillage, nematicide, and irrigation treatments. Meloidogyne incognita and P. christiei populations were not significantly affected by tillage method, but S. brachyurum populations were highest during April 1981 and 1982 in minimum tillage treatments where crop debris was not removed. In contrast, S. brachyurum populations were lowest during the same period in minimum tillage plots where 90% of previous crop debris had been removed or where residues were incorporated with conventional tillage. Populations of P. scribneri were lowest in minimum tillage during August 1981 and April 1982. Regardless of tillage system, corn yields in all nonirrigated plots were increased during 1982 by application of carbofuran (2.24 kg a.i./ha). No yield increases were observed following nematicide application in 1981. Key words: Meloidogyne incognita, Scutellonema brachyurum, Pratylenchus scribneri, Paratrichodorus christiei, carbofuran, Zea mays.