Key Issues Perspective: Healthy root systems needed early
Fortunately, Poncho/VOTiVO has activity against cysts, Ifft said. “The biological component in Poncho/VOTiVO is a good tool for managing cyst nematodes and is helpful in preventing resistance because it creates a living barrier around the seed. When a plant has the Poncho/VOTiVO seed treatment, it doesn’t have to expend its energy fighting off cysts. It is protected by the seed treatment and can use its energy to grow,” Ifft said.
Both Hinz and Ifft agree that managing pests below ground can be challenging for many farmers.
“For most people, managing underground pests is a bit of ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ Most don’t think about the pests doing damage on the roots below ground,” Ifft said.
He likened the plants’ root system to an iceberg. The part of the iceberg below the water is of major concern to the boat captain, as the root systems should be of major concern to the grower.
“In the end, you cannot have high yields without a healthy root system,” Ifft said.