|Plant nematode problems and their control in the Near East region. (FAO Plant Production and Protection Paper - 144) (1997)|
|Part I: Invited papers|
|Alternate strategies for nematode control towards sustainable agriculture|
If chemical treatments are unavailable or inappropriate, the management of plant-parasitic nematodes will have to depend on alternative strategies.
Those farmers in the Near East region who routinely use methyl bromide or non-fumigant nematicides may in future have to seek alternative treatments. To help them do so, government-supported research will be necessary, particularly for control strategies not requiring the regular purchase of proprietary products. This type of research is unlikely to be funded by manufacturing companies.
New research will require multidisciplinary collaboration to enable the integration of traditional practices with new ideas created by the scientists. Through more research on nematode biology and the environment, nematologists must consider several possibilities:
· How nematode life cycles may be interrupted.
· How microbial activity at the root-soil interface, which could lessen nematode invasion, can be promoted.
· Identification of compounds that interfere with reception of stimuli or repel nematodes.
· The selection or breeding of resistant varieties, or varieties that tolerate nematode infestation, and that can produce acceptable yields.
In conducting field experiments that evaluate the effect of cropping systems on nematode populations, scientists should plan to suit the needs of the farmer. Many research station trials are designed to produce results for ready analysis and presentation in journals; in consequence, treatments may be selected to suit the needs of the scientist. Most farmers grow short-cycle, annual and perennial crops in close proximity. Such mixed cropping practices are rarely undertaken in field experimentation by nematologists.
Any new cultural, microbial or management approaches that are developed must be within the capabilities of the farmer and meet the necessary environmental and economic requirements. New strategies will be considered as successful if they lower nematode damage thresholds. The farmer will be satisfied if these treatments are reliable, practicable and economically justified; his customer, the consumer, will be content if the product has the desired quality, contains no toxic residues, and is fairly priced.