Dr. Steve Thomas, Associate Professor of Plant Pathology, P.O. Box 30003, Dept. 3BE, 221 Gerald Thomas Hall, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003-0003, Phone (505) 646-2321, FAX (505) 646-8087
Major Nematode Species: Meloidogyne incognita, root-knot nematode remains the only recognized nematode pathogen of cotton within the state, infesting approximately 50% of the acreage. In 1998, cotton was planted on 69,000 acres in seven counties -- Chaves, Dona Ana, Eddy, Hidalgo, Lea, Luna, and Roosevelt. Sixty-seven thousand acres were harvested with a yeild of 101,000 bales. Pima and Sea Island varieties comprise about 25% of the total. Cool temperatures early in 1998 slowed plant development, but average yields were obtained for upland and long staple varieties occured due to severe bollworm and pink bollworm outbreaks in recent years. Dependence upon furrow irrigation restricts cropping practices to existing field locations; and a lack of locally adapted root-knot nematode resistant cotton cultivars, or rotation crops, results in fairly constant nematode pressure form one year to the next.
Other Nematode Species: Reniform and lance nematodes have not yet been found in any cotton producing locations sampled in the state.
1998 Yield Loss Estimate Valued at $390/Bale: 4.5% of the cotton crop was lost to nematode damage ... 4,759 bales ... valued at $1,903,590.
Seven-year Average Yield Loss Estimate from 1992 through 1998: Annual average of 4.71% of the crop was lost to nematode damage ... 4,431 bales ... valued at $1,684,868.
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.
1998 Research Activity: Two research trials were conducted at adjacent locations in Garfield, NM, in 1998, to evaluate nematicide applications on Acala and transgenic cotton. Trials were conducted by S. H. Thomas, Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology & Weed Science, New Mexico State University.
For details of test results, contact Jennifer Gimpert.