Organic and Inorganic Nitrogen Amendments to Soil as Nematode Suppressants


  • R. Rodr


Inorganic fertilizers containing ammoniacal nitrogen or formulations releasing this form of N in the soil are most effective for suppressing nematode populations. Anhydrous ammonia has been shown to reduce soil populations of Tylenchorhynchus claytoni, Helicotylenchus dihystera, and Heterodera glycines. The rates required to obtain significant suppression of nematode populations are generally in excess of 150 kg N/ha. Urea also suppresses several nematode species, including Meloidogyne spp., when applied at rates above 300 kg N/ha. Additional available carbon must be provided with urea to permit soil microorganisms to metabolize excess N and avoid phytotoxic effects. There is a direct relation between the amount of "protein" N in organic amendments and their effectiveness as nematode population suppressants. Most nematicidal amendments are oil cakes, or animal excrements containing 2-7% (w:w) N; these materials are effective at rates of 4-10 t/ha. Organic soil amendments containing mucopolysaccharides (e.g., mycelial wastes, chitinous matter) are also effective nematode suppressants. Key words: amendments, biological control, fertilizers, microbial ecology, nonchemical control, pest management, waste management.