Getting to the root of nematode pressure

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Invisible, invasive, and underestimated: Nematodes infest plants, feeding on the roots, transmitting viruses and causing injuries which open the door for secondary bacterial and fungal infections, ultimately resulting in major yield losses for farmers. With a novel mode of action, NemaStrike® Technology controls a wide range of nematodes and helps corn, soybean, and cotton farmers protect their yield.
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Two plants on the left with Acceleron® Seed Applied Solutions base offering and two plants on the right with Acceleron Seed Applied Solutions with NemaStrike Technology

Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic, worm-like creatures mostly found in the soil – and they are a highly invasive pest that causes an estimated 10 % yield loss in corn, soybean, and cotton, while also posing a serious threat to crops including tomatoes, potatoes, and grapes. Losses due to soybean cyst nematodes, for example, have been estimated at about $1.5 billion in the United States alone. Nevertheless, growers significantly underestimate nematode damage – one reason being that nematode damage is often misattributed to other causes such as drought stress, fertility deficiency, and diseases.
Nematodes do not just feed on plant roots, they also destroy root cells from the inside out, facilitate bacterial and fungal infections, transmit viruses, and prevent water and nutrient uptake, resulting in considerably reduced agronomic performance, overall quality, and yield. Most nematodes are undetectable by the human eye and typical symptoms are often inconclusive, such as wilting, yellowing, stunting – or, worst of all, there are no visible symptoms at all! That is why plant-parasitic nematodes are often referred to as invisible crop killers.

Broad-spectrum seed treatment to control a wide range of nematodes

It is estimated that 80 % of all corn acres sampled in the United States Corn Belt have parasitic nematodes that adversely impact yield potential. To better help corn, soybean, and cotton growers protect their yield, we developed NemaStrike Technology, a broad-spectrum seed treatment, controlling a wide range of yield-robbing nematodes. Being seed-applied, NemaStrike Technology is designed to offer nematode control right from the start – and it stays in the root zone for up to 75 days.
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Bennie Whitehurst, Grower, Ground Breakers® Trial participant Conetoe, North Carolina (USA)

NemaStrike Technology is a chemistry with a novel mode of action: Tioxazafen, a disubstituted oxadiazole which represents a new class of nematicidal chemistry. It is a targeted protein, only affecting plant parasitic nematodes. “Tioxazafen brings game-changing technology to the market,” says Dr. Mike South, Global Seed Treatment Product Advancement Lead at Bayer. This broad-spectrum seed treatment allows for effective and long-term control of nematodes such as soybean cyst nematode, root knot, lesion, lance, and reniform. “NemaStrike Technology delivers results farmers can actually see at harvest,” says Dr. Mike South.

Proven efficacy and durability

NemaStrike Technology has demonstrated consistent yield protection in hundreds of field trials in all soil types and levels of pressure. Moreover, farmers who have participated in Ground Breakers® Trials have seen a clear impact on their fields. “Using NemaStrike Technology, I believe we’re going to have a better yield,” said Jake Tiechroeb, cotton grower in Seminole, Texas. “We’re going to have a stronger growing season to give that plant all the nutrients it needs from the roots.”
“Seeing how NemaStrike Technology gives a farmer peace of mind that his fields and roots are protected has been the most exciting moment so far,” says Dr. Mike South. Having successfully launched the broad-spectrum seed treatment in the United States in 2018, NemaStrike Technology will be marketed in Canada next, followed by a global roll-out in South America, Europe, and Australia.
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