Bug Scout 1979
How to Check for Nematodes in Corn
(Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University)
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March 17, 1979

Are nematodes causing a problem in your corn?  Damage symptoms include wilting, stunting, yellowing, and poorly developed root systems.  These symptoms could also be caused by insects, diseases, frost injury, low fertility, water stress, or compaction.

How do you know that nematodes are the cause?  Should you treat with a nematicide this year?  The only way to know for sure is to have soil samples analyzed for nematodes.

Be sure to take an adequate sample.  Collect samples as you would for soil fertility analysis:  one quart of soil for each 10 acres.  Keep samples cool and moist but do not refrigerate or add water.

Remember, most cornfields do not have damaging nematode populations.  Corn following corn is more likely to have a nematode problem than first-year corn.  Higher rates of chemicals might be needed for nematode control than for insect control.  Nematode control is costly, so make sure it's needed.

by Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University

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