Sweet potato growers given free nematode soil testing
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Sweet potato growers in Mississippi can get free nematode testing of soil samples they send to Mississippi State University from now until Dec. 31, 2024.
The samples can be submitted in nematode bags available at local county MSU Extension Service offices; samples are also accepted in quart-sized, sealed plastic bags. Bags must be labeled and accompanied by the nematode sample submission form F448, available at . More information about nematode testing is available at this same site.
Samples submitted for free nematode tests must be from Mississippi sweet potato fields.
Nematodes are microscopic worms that live in the soil. While some can be beneficial, others feed on the roots of plants, damaging the root system and reducing a plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. Nematodes can be especially harmful to sweet potatoes, as these are root vegetables.
Lorin Harvey, Extension sweet potato specialist, is using an HR133 specialty crop block grant from the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce to cover the cost of the nematode tests this year and next.