Evaluation of Environmentally Sustainable Methods to Control Dagger Nematode Infestation in Blueberry Production

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2006: $9,842.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:


  • Fruits: berries (brambles)


  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, field monitoring/scouting, mulching - plastic, soil solarization

    Proposal summary:

    Blueberries are raised on 2,200 acres in Washington, supplying berries for farmers markets and juice for production. Several farms that operate in Island and Skagit counties report damage from nematodes, the most serious being the dagger nematode. It not only feeds on blueberry plants but also transmits a virus, tomato ringspot virus, which, in addition to blueberries, affects peaches, plums, cherries, apples, grapes, raspberries, strawberries, often reducing yield and rendering them unmarketable. The dagger nematode has a low damage threshold, and correct identification is expensive and logistically challenging. Further, traditional control measures can be expensive and environmentally harmful. Early detection and less expensive, environmentally benign control measures are needed. This SARE-funded project, to be conducted on Crescent Harbor Blueberry Farm near Oak Harbor, will test the usefulness of two organic, environmentally friendly treatments (solarization and Ditera) compared with traditional fumigants. The goal will be to provide blueberry producers with best management practices for early detection and control of dagger nematode.

    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.