Nematodes: The Yield-Robbers You Can’t See

When a corn 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 that it is protected from pests. Much of the yield potential is determined early in the lifecycle of the corn plant. Establishing a deep and robust root system is critical to achieving high yields. Corn nematodes are parasitic roundworms that can infest corn crops and cause significant damage. They feed on the roots of the plant, reducing its ability to absorb water and nutrients, which can lead to stunted growth, wilting, and reduced yield. There are several different species of nematodes that can attack corn, including the root-knot nematodes and the stalk nematodes.

Averland vs untreated corn roots

One early season pest that is not widely known, or how significant the damage they can cause to a crop is, is the Nematode. Nematodes are microscopic round worms that are free living in the soil. There are 1,000’s of species of Nematodes that inhabit the soil, but the ones we are concerned about are the ones classified as plant parasitic. The main morphological characteristic of plant parasitic nematodes is the presence of a stylet protruding from their mouth part. The Nematode damages the roots through this stylet by either stinging or feeding off these roots. Management strategies include crop rotation, using nematode-resistant varieties, and applying chemical nematicides. When a corn plants root system is damaged in the first 50 or so days after emergence there are several critical physiological yield determining can be adversely affected. Some of these physiological processes are the determination of potential ear density, so a stress in the time period could cause the plants to produce less ears per acre. On “fixed” eared varieties the highest yields are achieved by having more ears per acre. Next would be the potential plant parts or the factory development.

Averland vs untreated corn cobs

Vive Crop Protection’s Averland FC nematicide/insecticide/miticide can help to fight against yield-robbing nematodes early in the plant’s life and it is compatible with most liquid fertilizers. It is the only liquid abamectin product labeled for in-furrow use in corn. Averland FC contains abamectin, which is fermented bacterial product that causes paralysis in certain insects and nematodes. The ability to mix Averland FC with liquid fertilizers and apply it while you are planting is convenient and efficient to the grower. Having the nematicide as close to the seed as possible ensures that the seed is protected as soon as it goes in the ground. Averland FC is not readily leached off by rainfall and will stay put longer when compared to other nematicides that can leach or “gas off”.               

Field comparison

In 2022, Vive Crop Protection had several University and Contract research organizations test Vive’s in-furrow nematicide, Averland FC, against other industry leading nematicides. In corn, the competitive check was Counter 20g. Averland FC won by 6 bushels (184 vs 178, respectively). Along with comparative activity on nematodes, Averland FC has a favorable safety profile when compared to older Organophosphate insecticides. Averland FC also does not require any specialized hopper or separate system to apply it at planting. Just a planter with an in-furrow setup or fertilizer coulter system.

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Always read and follow label directions. AVERLAND FC AND BIFENDER FC ARE RESTRICTED USE PESTICIDES. COUNTER is a trademark owned by AMVAC Chemical Corporation. Allosperse®, Averland®, AZterknot®, AZteroid®, Bifender®, Midac® and Viloprid™ are trademarks of Vive Crop Protection Inc. ©2022 Vive Crop Protection Inc.