Maximizing the Potential of Cropping Systems for Nematode Management

J. P. Noe, J. N. Sasser, J. L. Imbriani


Quantitative techniques were used to analyze and determine optimal potential profitability of 3-year rotations of cotton, Gossypium hirsutum cv. Coker 315, and soybean, Glycine max cv. Centennial, with increasing population densities of Hoplolaimus columbus. Data collected from naturally infested on-farm research plots were combined with economic information to construct a microcomputer spreadsheet analysis of the cropping system. Nonlinear mathematical functions were fitted to field data to represent damage functions and population dynamic curves. Maximum yield losses due to H. columbus were estimated to be 20% on cotton and 42% on soybean. Maximum at-harvest population densities were calculated to be 182/100 cm³ soil for cotton and 149/100 cm³ soil for soybean. Projected net incomes ranged from a $17.74/ha net loss for the soybean-cotton-soybean sequence to a net profit of $46.80/ha for the cotton-soybean-cotton sequence. The relative profitability of various rotations changed as nematode densities increased, indicating economic thresholds for recommending alternative crop sequences. The utility and power of quantitative optimization was demonstrated for comparisons of rotations under different economic assumptions and with other management alternatives. Key words: cotton, crop rotation, damage function, economic threshold, Glycine max, Gossypium hirsutum, Hoplolaimus columbus, lance nematode, population dynamics, soybean.

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