A Nematicide Seed Treatment to Control Ditylenchus dipsaci on Seedling Alfalfa

F. A. Gray, D. H. Soh


Three nematicides were evaluated as seed treatments to control the alfalfa stem nematode (Ditylenchus dipsaci) on seedling alfalfa. Alfalfa seeds were soaked for 10 hours in a 0.5% (formulated by weight) concentration of either carbofuran, phenamiphos or oxamyl in acetone with no adverse effect on seed germination. All three treatments decreased nematode damage and increased survival of 'Ranger' (susceptible) and 'Lahontan' (resistant) alfalfa plants, when seeds were planted in soil infested with D. dipsaci. Mean live plant counts after 6 weeks in the untreated control, acetone alone, carbofuran, phenamiphos, and oxamyl treatments, respectively, were 4.3, 6.3, 19.0, 19.8, and 19.0 for Lahontan and 4.5, 1.5, 18.5, 19.3, and 18.0 for Ranger from 20 seeds/pot. Nematicide seed treatments resulted in significantly healthier Ranger alfalfa plants 4 months after planting. The combination of seed treatment and host resistance may provide a means of establishing alfalfa in an alfalfa monocropped system where soil populations of D. dipsaci are high. Key words: alfalfa, carbofuran, Ditylenchus dipsaci, host resistance, Medicago sativa, oxamyl, phenamiphos, seed treatment, stem nematode.

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