Training for agricultural service providers in the diagnosis, visual assessment, and management of plant-parasitic nematodes

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2007: $116,115.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
George Abawi
Cornell University, NYSAES
Beth Gugino
The Pennsylvania State University

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: canola, flax, millet, oats, potatoes, rapeseed, rye, sorghum (milo), soybeans
  • Fruits: berries (brambles), berries (strawberries)
  • Vegetables: beans, beets, cabbages, carrots, cucurbits, onions, peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes
  • Additional Plants: ornamentals


  • Animal Production: preventive practices
  • Crop Production: crop rotation, cover crops, application rate management
  • Education and Training: demonstration, networking, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
  • Pest Management: allelopathy, biological control, chemical control, cultural control, disease vectors, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, sanitation
  • Soil Management: green manures, soil analysis, soil microbiology

    Proposal abstract:

    The northern root-knot and lesion nematodes are two primary nematode pathogens of vegetables and small fruit grown in New York, Connecticut, Vermont and the Northeast region, significantly impacting the quantity and quality of marketable yield of these crops. Many growers rely heavily upon chemical nematicides for nematode management, often not considering if the nematode population is at threshold levels to cause economic loss, leading to reduced profitability and farm sustainability. Accordingly, there is a need to manage root-knot and lesion nematodes strictly on an as-needed basis whether by using chemical nematicides and/or biologically based strategies. Ten to thirteen intensive hands-on training workshops will be held in the Northeast region (NY, CT, VT, PA, ME, NH, MA, VA, and NJ) over two years to educate and train the county extension educators, NRCS, crop consultants, IPM practitioners, interested growers and other agriculture service providers who interact most closely with the vegetable and small fruit producers in the region, in diagnosing nematode damage, conducting and interpreting bioassays for visual nematode infestation assessment and understanding integrated nematode management options. Training the trainers will facilitate the dissemination of information regarding nematode diagnosis, assessment, and management further making it possible for growers to manage nematode problems on an as-needed basis and to design a whole-farm nematode management plan.

    Performance targets from proposal:

    Of the 300+ agriculture service providers who participate and are trained in the nematode assessment and management workshops, 125 will incorporate acquired skills and knowledge in their programming and daily communications with growers and 40 will conduct the soil bioassay protocols with interested growers to assess nematode infestations and provide appropriate management recommendations on an as-needed-basis and facilitate farmer-to-farmer outreach.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.