Nematology 100 Term Project

The "Dear Becky" Letter

Rev 09/14/2012

Background and Philosophy:

   Management of plant-parasitic nematodes in higher value crops has relied almost exclusively on the use of nematicides over the past 50 years.  However, these approaches are less available following development of information on the persistence and movement of toxic residues in the soil, the potential for groundwater pollution and concerns about the sustainability of production systems. This presents enormous opportunities and challenges.

   Many nematode management tactics are available; they must be assembled into strategies appropriate for specific cropping systems, geographic regions, and the biology and feeding habits of the target nematodes. The selection and rotation of crops, use of resistant cultivars, application of cultural practices appropriate to a region and cropping system, and the enhancement of natural antagonists and beneficial organisms present a wide range of options.

    There is growing awareness of the importance of microbial-feeding soil nematodes in sustainable, low-input and natural systems. Also, specialist and generalist predator nematodes, directly and as indicators of other organisms with similar habits, corntribut to the regulation of population levels of pest species. How should the activities of these beneficial organisms be augmented and conserved while those of plant-parasitic species are reduced?

Rationale and Significance:

    Design, develop, explain and justify to extension personnel and producers your multi-point strategy for the management of prevailing and potential nematode problems in a cropping system and geographic region of your choice. Your plan must have a sound basis in biology and ecology, be applicable to the existing or potential cropping systems and cultural practices for the area, and be economically and environmentally justifiable.

Format - the "Dear Becky" letter (3 pages - maximum):

Dr Becky B. Westerdahl,
Extension Nematologist,
Department of Nematology,
University of California,
One, Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

Dear Becky:

            I wish to address my suggestions for the management of the plant-parasitic and/or microbivorous nematode(s) __________________ in the ________________ cropping system which is prevalent in the __________________ region.

  1. A brief description of the system and the magnitude of the problem and potential.
  2. My x-point plan (where x=1 to ??) for management of the system.
  3. Biological, environmental and economic rationale and justification for my plan.
  4. Suggested procedures for testing, demonstrating and implementing the x-point plan.

With my very best wishes for success, I remain yours in the enduring nematological endeavor,


Tyler N. Korynkus
Concerned Citizen
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