Dr. Robert Kinloch, University of Florida AREC, Highway 182, Rt.3, Box 575, Jay, FL 32565-9524, Phone (904) 994-7373, FAX (904) 994-9589.
Major Nematode Species: Soil samples taken in 1989 to 1991, showed that root-knot nematodes infested more than 50% of the cotton fields in Florida. This species continues to be a major threat to Florida cotton. Recent surveys reported heavy infestations of root-knot nematodes in five counties -- Escambia, Santa Rosa, Calhoun, Jefferson, and Hamilton. Medium population densities of root-knot nematodes were found in Walton, Washington, and Jackson counties. Cotton is grown in 11 counties in Florida’s panhandle -- Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Jackson, Calhoun, Gadsden, Hamilton, and Jefferson. In 1998, approximately 80,000 acres of cotton were harvested with a yield of 68,000 bales. Harvested acres in 1996 and 1997 were 98,000 and 99,000 acres respectively.
Other Nematode Species: Reniform nematodes were reported at heavy population densities in fields sampled in 1995 in Santa Rosa county. No lance nematodes were detected in any cotton producing counties in the 1995 surveys. Four other species were reported as significant problems in the1989 - 1991 surveys -- spiral, ring, lesion, and stubby root nematodes.
1998 Yield Loss Estimate Valued at $390/Bale: 0.70% of the cotton crop was lost to nematode damage ... 623 bales ... valued at $242,970.
1999 Activities to Consider in Latter Part of Growing Season: The best time to take nematode soil samples is in the latter part of the growing season.
Technology is readily available to effectively reduce nematode populations below damaging levels. Nematicides are used in most counties for short term control of nematode populations. Cotton growers who wish to use a nematicide must complete an Intent to Apply form and submit it to the Florida Department of Agriculture aqnd Consumer Services prior to application of the nematicide.