Find a Soil Sampling Lab

In addition to monitoring visual symptoms, collecting soil samples is an effective method to determine if you have nematodes. A general survey should be performed every year in the fall.

Soil testing should be taken as soon after harvest as possible, because many cotton growers don't realize the severity of the crop damage caused by nematodes. Soil samples are the only accurate way to determine if nematodes are the problem and which species need to be controlled. Prior to taking samples, contact your county Extension agent for information concerning available sampling tools, shipment bags and proper procedures for submitting samples. Samples should not be taken when the soil is dusty dry or soggy wet.

A good sample starts with two soil cores (1 inch wide by 8 to 10 inches deep) taken from each acre of the cotton field. Select samples from a 10-acre block containing a uniform soil type and cropping history. Again, it's imperative that samples not be taken when the soil is either excessively dry or wet.

Each core should be thoroughly mixed, and then a 1-pint sample should be extracted and placed in a plastic bag and sealed. Do not allow samples to be exposed to the sun. Keep them cool (not frozen) before immediate shipment to an advisory laboratory. If possible, include living crop or weed roots and fragments in the soil sample.

When a nematode problem is suspected, take several soil cores and plant roots from within – and immediately around – a poor growth site while the crop is still growing. These samples should be prepared as described above.

You can submit your sample to the following nematode diagnostic laboratories:

NOTE: California residents should contact their local University of California lab for more information