Deep Roots Blog Post

May marked the start of Dr. Kristi Sanchez’s (our renowned Nematologist) busiest season, a kick-off to Spring field trials. This is the time to collect soil samples and monitor tree growth for our ongoing treatments. Here’s a breakdown of the trial sites Dr. Sanchez visited, including detailed insights into her work and that of the TriCal team at each location. Additionally, she accepted an invitation and had the pleasure of being a guest lecturer for a graduate course at UC Davis. Let’s follow her journey:

Location 1: TriCal Reduced Rate of TELONETM/TriClor Almond Replant Trial (Ripon, CA.)

TriCal Almond Replant Trial (Ripon, CA)

Dr. Sanchez: We established a trial in February 2023 to evaluate the dual-application reduced-rate capabilities of the modified/new Symmetric flow meter. Treatments are (a) TELONETM II at 29 GPA + TriClor at 60 lbs.; (b) TELONETM II at 27 GPA + TriClor at 100 lbs.; (c) TELONETM II at 27 GPA + TriClor at 60 lbs.; and (d) TELONETM II at 27 GPA + TriClor at 50 lbs. I visited the field site this Spring season to continue monitoring plant parasitic nematode (PPN) populations and tree circumferences of the designated treatments. We continued to observe a significant reduction in PPN pressure among higher reduced rate TELONETM at 29 gal/ac with TriClor 60lbs/ac and 100lbs/ac. We also observed a gradual resurface of nematode populations among TELONETM at 27gal/ac with various rates of TriClor. But overall the populations were still substantially lower than the untreated control, which demonstrated an increase in PPN densities (root-knot, pin, ring, root lesion, and stunt).

Location 2 & 3: 2 TriCal Sweet Potato Field Trials (Turlock and Livingston, CA.)

TriCal Sweet Potato Trial (Turlock, CA)

Dr. Sanchez: In May, I revisited the field site with the team to collect 3 weeks post fumigation composite soil samples from the designated treatments, to evaluate the performances of the fumigant treatment. The 2 trials were fumigated in April 2024; the Turlock demo field trial site is over a 10-acre field site. Working with TriCal PCA Ole Fernandez and R&D team member David Miller, we have set up trial research investigating various rates of TELONETM + Chloropicrin blends such as C-15, C-35, Pic-Clor 60, TriClor, and untreated control.  At the Livingston trial site, we are evaluating 2 rates of C-15 (12 GPA and 13.59 GPA) compared to grower standard of TELONETM II at 12 GPA. In both trial sites, we initially collected a couple of composite soil samples to determine if this field site had root-knot nematode pressure, Meloidogyne species. Both field sites demonstrated high pressure of root-knot and also had moderate pressure of stubby root nematode.  We will continue following both trials with mid-season soil sampling to determine any differences between treatments and at harvest to collect yield.

Location 4: TriCal IPM Prune Trial (Winters, CA.)

TriCal Prune Trial (Winters, CA)

Dr. Sanchez: We have established a trial testing grower standard TELONETM II followed by nematicides to provide long-term control. A prune field was recently planted, and despite having been fumigated in 2023, there was already some nematode pressure; much lower than without fumigation, but pressure nevertheless. This is not uncommon in heavy soils treated with the current maximum application rate of 332 lbs. 1,3-D/acre; some soil types can continue to have some pressure and would benefit from an in-season IPM program. So, we have taken advantage of this situation and utilized this field to evaluate the performance of post-plant nematicides as an IPM program using fumigation as the foundational treatment. All demo blocks in this trial are on fumigated ground (TELONETM II at max rate). There are 3 demo blocks, 10 acres each. We are evaluating the performance of fumigation followed by in-season application of a bionematicide compared to competitor product Velum One. We collected pre-application soil samples from the designated blocks; the grower has made the first application of the nematicides. I will be visiting the site at the end of June to collect post-application soil samples to examine the performance of the IPM program.

Location 5: Guest Lecturer at UC Davis

Dr. Sanchez: I presented to a group of graduate students in the Department of Entomology and Nematology. I provided an overview of nematode management in California on perennial and annual crops. My focus was on the pre-treatment fumigation- TELONETM II and Chloropicrin: case studies of key trials examining the importance of fumigation and post-treatment measures. Nematode management requires an integration of strategies to achieve long-term nematode control.

Thank you, Dr. Kristi Sanchez, for your location breakdown. We truly appreciate your perseverance and commitment.

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