Contribution of a winter wheat cover crop to the maintenance of root lesion nematode populations in the red raspberry production system

Rachel E. Rudolph, Thomas W. Walters, Lisa W. DeVetter, Inga A. Zasada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

One of the primary production challenges red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) growers in the Pacific northwestern United States confront is root lesion nematode [RLN (Pratylenchus penetrans)]. In this perennial production system, red raspberry serves as a sustained host for RLN. When a red raspberry planting is slated for removal in the fall, a new red raspberry planting quickly follows in the same field the following spring. The primary crop that occurs in rotation with red raspberry is a winter wheat cover crop to provide soil coverage and protection during the winter. The objectives of this research were to determine if winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) provides a green bridge for RLN in continuous red raspberry production systems and to determine if modified winter cover cropping practices can be used to reduce population densities of RLN before replanting red raspberry. Four trials were established in fields being replanted to red raspberry and the following modified winter cover cropping practices were considered: cover crop planting date (at fumigation or 2 weeks after fumigation), termination date (cover crop kill with herbicide 2 or 6 weeks before incorporation compared with the industry standard of incorporation immediately before planting), and the additional application of methomyl. ‘Rosalyn’ and ‘Bobtail’ winter wheat planted as cover crops in these trials were demonstrated to be maintenance hosts for RLN (ranging from 10 to 947 RLN/g winter wheat root across trials) allowing them to be a green bridge for RLN to infect the following red raspberry crop. Altering winter wheat cover crop planting date, termination date with herbicide, or methomyl application did not affect RLN population densities in the subsequent red raspberry crop. Although planting an RLN maintenance host may be of concern to growers, the advantages of reduced soil erosion and nitrate leaching associated with cover cropping outweigh the perceived risk to the subsequent red raspberry crop.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-188
Number of pages7
JournalHortTechnology
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Washington State Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and Washington Red Raspberry Commission for funding this research. We also thank the grower cooperators as well as Megan Kitner and Sean Watkinson for technical support. The mention of trade names or commercial products is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Funding Information:
We thank the Washington State Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and Washington Red Raspberry Commission for funding this research. We also thank the grower cooperators as well as Megan Kitner and Sean Watkinson for technical support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, American Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Cultural practices
  • Nematicides
  • Pratylenchus penetrans
  • Rubus idaeus
  • Triticum aestivum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture

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