Managing Nematodes in Cotton

March 17, 2023 - Growing cotton is like trying to fly a plane. Every external force is attempting to bring that plane crashing back to the ground. And just like a good pilot, a cotton grower needs to be nimble and able to adapt to these external forces. But what do you do when the external force is so small you can’t see it?

Microscopic roundworms that are invisible to the naked eye, nematodes have become one of the most devastating pests to control in a cotton field. Causing significant damage to the crop during critical early stages of development, nematodes can be seriously detrimental to cotton yield at the end of the day.

There are thousands of species of nematodes that inhabit the soil, but the ones worth concern are plant parasitic nematodes. The main morphological characteristic of plant parasitic nematodes is the presence of a stylet protruding from their mouthpiece. Nematodes damage the roots through this stylet by either stinging or feeding off them, reducing the ability to absorb water and nutrients, which can lead to stunted growth, wilting, and reduced yield.

So how can a grower combat these notorious nematodes? Management strategies include crop rotation, using nematode-resistant seed varieties, and applying chemical nematicides. And if pressure is bad enough, a grower might need to use two or all three of these methods.

Averland FC nematicide, from Vive Crop Protection, is proven to combat nematodes in an easy-to-use, economical solution. An abamectin-based nematicide enhanced with Vive’s patented Allosperse Delivery technology, Averland FC can be applied directly to the root zone in a seamless application with liquid fertilizers, hard water, micronutrients, and other crop inputs.

“In 2022 cotton trials across the southeast, we saw an average yield increase of 55 pounds per acre, outperforming liquid and dry competitors and providing growers with a consistent ROI,” says Jason Sweeney, Vive’s Senior Southern Biologist. “We see good activity on both root-knot and reniform nematodes.

“At 3.5 fl oz/acre, you are getting more abamectin in the root zone than what is provided by seed treatments at standard seeding rates. Considering its low use rate, best-in-class compatibility, and economical price point, Averland FC is an easy and economical way to protect young cotton seedlings from plant parasitic nematodes.”

In small plot research trials, Averland FC was evaluated against AgLogic 15g (Aldicarb) and Velum nematicide. Averland FC had comparable yields and had a higher yield and ROI than the competition in several trials. Averland FC also had comparable activity on reducing plant parasitic nematode counts over competitive products and untreated checks.

When a cotton farmer is preparing to plant their crop, they want to do all that they can to ensure the crop has everything that it needs and is protected from pests, including ones you can’t see. Yield potential is determined early in the lifecycle of a cotton plant which is why it is crucial to protect cotton right at-planting.


Written by: George Huckabay, Vive's Southern Technical Sales Agronomist