Problems Associated with Crop Rotation for Management of Pratylenchus penetrans on Easter Lily


  • B. B. Westerdahl
  • D. Giraud
  • S. Etter
  • L. J. Riddle
  • C. A. Anderson


In Humboldt and Del Norte counties of California and Curry County, Oregon, Easter lilies (Lilium longiflotum) are grown commercially in a 3- to 6-year rotation with pasture for cattle and sheep. Bulbs are sold to greenhouse operations to produce flowering plants. The lesion nematode, Pratylenchus penetrans, is a serious detriment to Easter lily production. Both soil and planting stock are often infested; typically, a dual nematicide application is used consisting of a preplant soil fumigation followed by an at-planting application of an organophosphate or carbamate. Nematicide usage has resulted in ground-water contamination. Several factors that could lead to an improved crop rotation program were examined in five field trials in Oregon. Examining the relative nematode host status of crops for feeding cattle and sheep indicated differences in host suitability among clovers and fescues that could prove useful in development of pasture mixes. Populations of P. penetrans under continuous fallow and pasture were monitored for 4 years following harvest of Easter lilies. Populations fluctuated in both situations but generally increased on pasture plants and decreased under fallow. Nematodes were still detectable at the end of 4 years of weed-free fallow. Populations of P. penetrans on Easter lilies were followed over two successive crops. Numbers in soil peaked in July and then decreased while numbers within roots continued to increase until harvest in October. Key words: crop rotation, Easter lily, lesion nematode, Lilium longiflorum, nematode, Pratylenchus pentans.