How to Test Soil for Nematodes - August 26, 2009
Dr. Terry Kirkpatrick and Ronnie Bateman
[Title Slide - How to Test Soil for Nematodes, Dr. Terry Kirkpatrick and Ronnie Bateman, Nematode Specialists, Number 12 - August 26, 2009, Your Arkansas Soybean Podcast, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board]
[Dr. Terry Kirkpatrick] Hi, I’m Terry Kirkpatrick, Nematologist with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. Plant parasitic nematodes are microscopic roundworms that live in the soil. [Picture of a nematode] They can be a problem in just about every row crop that’s grown in the state of Arkansas. [Picture of nematode damage on a plant]
[Dr. Terry Kirkpatrick] Today we’re going to learn the proper procedure for sampling nematodes which will consist of us taking a soil sample, similar to that that would be taken for a nutrient analysis with some very important differences.
[Ronnie Bateman standing in a field] The first thing necessary in sampling for the nematodes is the proper equipment. It doesn’t take a lot. You need a sampling bucket, to put your soil in as you sample, a sampling probe, for taking the soil sample, a good quality plastic bag that will not bust when you fill it, and some tags for identification of the sample. Also necessary is an ice chest for protection from the sun. [Ronnie Bateman shows a sampling bucket, a sampling probe, a plastic bag, and tags (available from the lab upon request) and an ice chest]
[Ronnie Bateman standing in a field using a soil probe] The ideal time for pulling a sample for nematode identification is late summer or early fall, whatever the crop may be. The crop has had the whole summer to grow, the nematode population is building up throughout the summer, so at late summer or early fall, about plant shutdown the population should be at its peak. Sampling at this time will allow you to not only know what nematode species is present but the severity of it. Also sampling this time of the year is actually in preparation of next year’s crop.
To pull the sample, get your probe within three to four inches of the crop, the plant itself. Angle the probe in under the root system, you’ll want to actually, as you insert the probe 8 to 10 inches you want to go through part of the fibrous root system. At the same time, you want to miss the tap root and not cut it in 2. [Slide showing a plastic bag with soil. Mix the soil; Put soil in good quality plastic bag; 1 pine of soils is needed for assay; Use G P S settings or personal identification] Mix the soil, put it in a good quality plastic bag, and we only need one pint for assay, and identify this sample. If you have a global positioning system, a GPS unit, that’s the best way to identify your sample. That GPS unit, the satellite coordinates will be the same from now on. If not, you need an identification that you can always know yourself. [Ronnie Bateman puts bagged and tagged sample into an ice chest] Tag your sample and put it in an ice chest out of the sun for protection. There is no ice in the ice chest; you just want to keep it from getting hot. Once you get it to the lab to your home, in an ice chest in an air-conditioned room will be fine.
[Slide - Envelope with address] Send soil samples by second day overnight or first class mail to the Arkansas Nematode Diagnostic Lab. 362 Highway 174 North Hope, Arkansas 71801. To ensure your sample is received before the weekend, mail it no later than Wednesday. You can call the lab at (870) 777-9702 extension 128. You can also take your samples to your County Extension Office where they will mail it and cover the shipping charges for you.
[Narrator] Your Arkansas Soybean Podcast is a production of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and was funded in part by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. For more information on soybean farming in Arkansas contact your local county Extension Office. [Title slide - For more information contact your local county Extension office. Your Arkansas Soybean Podcast, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board]