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Beyond chemical dependency for managing plant-parasitic nematodes: examples from the banana, pineapple and vegetable industries of tropical and subtropical Australia

Stirling, G.R., Pattison, A.B.
Australasian plant pathology 2008 v.37 no.3 pp. 254-267
Capsicum, Meloidogyne javanica, Radopholus similis, bananas, burrowing, crop production, crop rotation, ethylene dibromide, farming systems, fenamiphos, industry, integrated pest management, methyl bromide, monitoring, nematode control, pineapples, plantations, planting, root-knot nematodes, subtropics, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, tropical and subtropical horticulture, vegetable crops, watermelons, zucchini, Australia
Plant-parasitic nematodes are important pests of horticultural crops grown in tropical and subtropical regions of Australia. Burrowing nematode (Radopholus similis) is a major impediment to banana production and root-knot nematodes (predominantly Meloidogyne javanica and M. incognita) cause problems on pineapple and a range of annual vegetables, including tomato, capsicum, zucchini, watermelon, rockmelon, potato and sweet potato. In the early 1990s, nematode control in these industries was largely achieved with chemicals, with methyl bromide widely used on some subtropical vegetable crops, ethylene dibromide applied routinely to pineapples and non-volatile nematicides such as fenamiphos applied up to four times a year in banana plantations. This paper discusses the research and extension work done over the last 15 years to introduce an integrated pest management approach to nematode control in tropical and subtropical horticulture. It then discusses various components of current integrated pest management programs, including crop rotation, nematode monitoring, clean planting material, organic amendments, farming systems to enhance biological suppression of nematodes and judicious use of nematicides. Finally, options for improving current management practices are considered.