Source: University of Illinois
Although nearly 80 percent of the Illinois Corn & Soybean Classics attendees said corn nematodes are a problem in the state, fewer than 20 percent plan to do anything about it.
"Farmers think corn nematodes are a big problem, but they're someone else's problem," University of Illinois Extension Nematologist Terry Niblack said. "Nematodes are the most frequently overlooked cause of disease in Illinois corn."
Nematodes are transparent microscopic roundworms that can't be seen with the naked eye. Some can cause symptoms similar to those caused by almost any stress and can intensify expression of specific symptoms due to nutrient deficiency, herbicide injury and other causes. Because the symptoms are nonspecific, the nematode problem is often ignored in Illinois.