Bench Screen Evaluation of Turf Pro Against Sting Nematodes

By the University of Florida

Research Plan: This research evaluated the nematode activity of Turf Pro against Belonolaimus longicaudatus (sting nematode). Sting nematode is the most damaging nematode to turfgrasses in the region and also is the primary nematode affecting strawberry, potato, and corn in Florida, and also affects numerous other crops in our state.

Bench Screen: The objective of the bench screen outlined is to evaluate the potential of experimental materials to kill sting nematodes. 200 cm3 aliquots of soil were measured out and placed into a 3 x 3 x 3-inch plastic pots. A solution of Turf Pro prepared at a concentration of 170 PPM, which was compared to untreated control (water only). Therefore, there were 2 treatments (1 experimental + untreated). There were 8 replications of each treatment. The solutions were applied as a topical drench in 100 ml solution to each pot. This was enough to replace the existing water in the soil with the solutions. The untreated pots received 100 ml water. The pots were randomized on a lab bench and left for 72 hours so that the nematodes were exposed to the treatments for three days. Next the soil from each pot was washed onto a modified Baermann funnels for nematode extraction. This allows live nematodes to move out of the soil, through a filter, into water so that they can be counted while dead nematodes staid in the soil. After incubating the modified Baermann funnels for 48 hours, the live nematodes are left behind. Nematode counts from each treatment were counted and then compared.


 Table 1. Number of live sting nematodes recovered from each treatment.

Treatment                Rate (PPM in soil solution)            Sting nematodes  

Untreated                 0                                               62 a  

Turf Pro                   170                                            32 b  

 Data are means of 8 replications. Means followed by common letters are not different (P ≤ 0.05) according to Duncan’s multiple-range test.


These results indicate that exposure for 72 hours to TurfPro at 170 PPM can disable or kill sting nematodes. For most golf courses, ¼-inch of water is typical for irrigation, and also is what I consider sufficient to move chemicals into the turf nematode treatment zone (around 2 inches deep). Based on this, 1.16 gal/acre would give approximately 170 PPM in soil solution in the treatment zone. While this preliminary experiment looks promising, I would not draw any conclusions or recommendations without a great deal of further experimentation. A lot can happen between applications to soil in the lab and in the field. That being said, I am hopeful that we can follow up with further testing since these results look promising.

William T. Crow

Associate Professor of Nematology

University of Florida

The next phase of testing, field testing, has been authorized and is underway.

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