UK: PCN picture looks better with ICM approach

Pete LeggNorfolk potato grower, Pete Legge, believes he has finally got a handle on PCN control, with a switch to Nemathorin in combination with a comprehensive ICM agronomy programme that is seeing long-term egg counts declining – along with reduced effects on the growing crop, yield and tuber quality. At the core of the farm’s approach has been a greater focus on soil testing – and tailoring the crop’s agronomy to the results. That has included seeking out clean land, extending rotations, adopting resistant or tolerant varieties, split field cropping and better targeted use of a nematicide. “We are now sampling all potato fields – both our own and long-term rented land – on one hectare grids, and using GPS technology to build up  a better picture and understanding of the PCN populations,” he reported. “We have even started doing some pf:pi counts, pre and post cropping.” Armed with the knowledge of PCN levels, he says they are better able to adjust cropping and variety selection to individual field situations, even to the extent of taking fields out of the rotation if PCN populations are too high, or being more selective in fields that are rented. More