Evaluation of alternative crops for management of Pratylenchus neglectus in Montana winter wheat production
Zuck, Peter Christopher
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A series of crop rotations were evaluated for their impacts on soil-borne populations of root lesion nematodes, Pratylenchus neglectus. Population changes, measured as the ratio of P. neglectus adults counted at harvest to those counted at planting time, was recorded under a series of two-year rotations alternating winter wheat with either fallow, barley, pea, lentil, canola, and camelina. Fallow, barley, pea, and camelina were found to have a neutral effect on nematode populations (p < 0.001). Winter wheat and canola caused significant increases in populations, while lentils caused significant decreases (p < 0.001). Populations were sustained through winter following winter wheat and barley, but not canola, camelina, pea, lentil, or fallow treatments (p < 0.001). In addition to the rotation study, cultivars of barley and canola were evaluated for their resistance to P. neglectus. Greenhouse trials for barley showed significant differences among 19 cultivars tested (p < 0.001), with a 5-fold difference in P. neglectus multiplication separating the least- from the most resistant. Separation among cultivars was not found with canola (p = 0.20). The information gathered in this study will help Montana wheat growers better understand the impacts of their crop selections on this important pest.