To obtain maximum profitability in today's strawberry industry, strong root systems are not an option – they are a necessity. Nematodes cause the root system to be impaired, often resulting in the progressive decline and death of strawberry plants. Root impairment also makes strawberries much more susceptible to drought conditions and injury from fertilizer salt accumulation.

Growers can rely on Inline® soil fungicide and nematicide, to provide a healthy defense.

Major nematode species found in strawberries include sting, northern root-knot, root-lesion and dagger. Diseases such as Fusarium wilt, rhizoctonia and pythium root rot also can cause significant damage. Pre-plant fumigation is an important part of managing diseases in strawberry fields.

  • Northern root-knot nematodes occur in the roots of the plants. They are occasionally present in the roots of strawberries, with the primary symptom of stunting. Other symptoms include unthriftiness, galling, wilting during hot days, chlorosis and suppression of fruit yields.
  • Sting nematodes are the primary nematode parasite in strawberries in Florida and are native to the sandy soils of the lower coastal plains of southeastern United States. Sting nematodes are found in the roots of the plant and often cause stunting. This pest is of major importance to commercial strawberry production as they can be very damaging to nursery seedlings and transplants.
  • Pythium root rot, also known as stunt disease, causes plants to be unable to respond to nitrogen fertilizers, reducing yield in the process. It thrives under cool, wet conditions with excess water and poor drainage generating model conditions. Symptoms include blackened, decaying roots and wilted, yellowed foliage.
  • Rhizoctonia are fungi that live in the soil and infect strawberry seedlings. Rhizoctonia can infect seedlings before or after plant emergence, resulting in stem lesions found near the soil surface. Lesions can appear red, orange or brown, with older lesions eventually rotting the outer portion of the stem.

Nematodes cause the root system to be impaired, often resulting in the progressive decline and death of strawberry plants. Root impairment also makes strawberries much more susceptible to drought conditions and injury from fertilizer salt accumulation.

Strawberries are susceptible to multiple nematode species. The most common and financially devastating pests to strawberries in the United States are sting nematodes and northern root-knot nematodes.

In addition to monitoring visual plant symptoms, collecting soil samples is an effective method to determine if you have nematodes.

Nematodes are most often evident in transplants that fail to grow-off normally. Symptoms of nematode damage usually occur in variously-sized, but definite areas or spots within a field. Areas of affected strawberries will fail to develop properly, and fruit quality will decline if nematode populations continue to increase with crop growth.

Plant damage ranges from mild to moderately progressive browning of the leaves, to severe stunting of the plant with little or no new plant growth. As outer leaves die, the plant gradually decreases in size, leaving the plant more susceptible to other diseases. As a result, the entire plant may eventually die.

The following is a list of common aboveground symptoms of nematode damage in strawberries:

  • Patches of poor growth in the field
  • Leaf browning
  • Foliar crimping
  • Outer, older leaf death
  • Reduction in flowering and fruiting
  • Chlorosis
  • Reddened leaves
  • Lack of response to treatment for other problems

The following is a list of common belowground symptoms of nematode damage in strawberries:

  • Root abnormalities
  • Lack of feeder roots
  • Root galls
  • Stubby roots
  • Dead root tips
  • Coarse roots

Confirmation that nematodes are present can be determined through soil samples.

Nematode and disease management should be viewed as a year-round, programmatic activity requiring consideration of all cultural, chemical and agronomic practices. However, since no rescue treatment is available for strawberries during the growth stage, producers are encouraged to treat the field for nematodes at crop termination and prior to planting the next crop if there is heavy nematode pressure.

This is an ideal time to take soil samples to determine the agronomic problems with your strawberries. If it is determined that nematodes are at high levels, drip inject with Telone® EC soil fumigant at crop termination. This will kill the crop and the existing population of nematodes, reducing the numbers for the next crop. Prior to planting, use Telone to prepare a nearly nematode-free zone so newly-planted strawberry roots can thrive.

Controlling nematodes and managing diseases includes using Telone EC at crop termination, planting strawberries from certified growers and utilizing an effective crop rotation. Nematodes can also be controlled pre-plant by fumigating with Telone EC and InLine® soil fumigant and nematicide through drip irrigation, or with shank-applied Telone® soil fungicide and nematicides.

  • Certified Plants
    Strawberry certification programs  offer some assurance to fruit producers that the plants purchased from certified growers are true to variety and free from damaging pests and serious diseases. Growers should ask for a certification tag on each cultivar of plants.

  • Chemical Controls
    In commercial strawberry production, producers often include a liquid fumigant through drip irrigation. The Telone soil fumigant product portfolio helps control all major species of nematodes.

    Effective use of soil fumigant for nematode control requires appropriate soil preparation and conditions prior to preplant treatment. Dow AgroSciences recommends beginning field preparations 6 to 8 weeks ahead of planting so crop debris will be completely decayed. Since all fumigant must diffuse through soil as gases to be effective, the most efficient fumigations occur when the soil is well-drained, in seedbed condition and at a temperature warmer than 40 F. An appropriate planting delay of 1 to 3 weeks to aerate the soil must be observed to avoid crop injury.

  • Shank
  • Drip (InLine product)