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Don’t let nematodes win...

August 18, 2021

By Taylor Aguilera, Certis Biologicals Regional Manager Northern California

This year’s tree nut growing season has seen enough challenges already. We know that our tree nut growers have battled the weather, drought, labor shortages and supply chain issues, all in an attempt to finish out the season. 

We’d like to think that when you’ve completed harvest, your problems will end, but unfortunately, with permanent tree plantings, pest and disease issues you face at the end of one season can plague the next.

That’s why I recommend that your first post-harvest task should be nematode control. Post-harvest is one of only two times in your growing season where you can truly maximize a well-timed application of MeloCon® WG for nematode control.  

Sure, there are many times when it is great to use MeloCon WG, but applications at pre-bloom and post-harvest are the times where you get the most bang for your buck with this biological nematicide. For post-harvest trees, root flush occurs when the crop is removed and this process attracts nematodes to the new growth, which is most vulnerable to damage in an attack.

If you’ve experienced nematode pressure at all this season, post-harvest is when you need to make sure that it is completely under control so it doesn’t trouble you during dormancy or creep into the beginning of next growing season. 

Follow these steps to make sure that your post-harvest nematode control is effective:

Survey and identify

If you aren’t sure what kind of pressure you are up against, or how big that pressure is, University of California Integrated Pest Management recommends an orchard soil survey. For an effective survey, UC-IPM recommends that you divide your orchards into sampling blocks and take a minimum of four samples for parcels fewer than 20 acres.

When sampling, make sure that you are taking your soil and root sub samples from an area of the root system where there is soil moisture. Nematodes will be centered around moisture, so those areas will give you the most accurate information for your survey.

Your PCA or crop advisor will be able to help you analyze the samples once you’ve gathered and stored them in separate plastic bags that are sealed and labeled. 

Treat with the power of MeloCon WG

Truly the best biological answer to nematode pressure is MeloCon WG. MeloCon works because it contains a naturally-occurring fungus, Paecilomyces lilacinus strain 251, which is a highly effective parasite of all stages of development of common plant-infecting nematodes, especially the eggs and infectious juveniles.

With MeloCon WG, the benefits and advantages really can make your post-harvest job pretty easy. For example, MeloCon WG has several application options that easily fit into your control program.  As a wettable powder, MeloCon mixes with water and is applied to nematode-infested soil either as a soil drench or through a drip (trickle) or sprinkler (microjet) irrigation systems. Even better, Melocon’s formulation dissolves quickly in water to avoid risks of plugging or altering your irrigation system or drip tape.

MeloCon WG is OMRI Listed® and is widely used in both organic and conventional orchards. It has a 4-hour REI and a zero-day PHI, which can be critical for you in this harvest and post-harvest time. If you are faced with several issues, or even if you are including a fertilizer in your post-harvest irrigation, MeloCon can be successfully tank-mixed as well, saving you time and energy of multiple applications.    

Make the most of MeloCon

If you really want to make your MeloCon application count, I’d recommend you include a soil-penetrant to help it spread in the soil, giving you the coverage you need for maximum control. A soil-wetting agent can help the spores spread more easily in the soil to the root zone, too. This will ensure that you are getting to the deepest part of the root to form a barrier against these pests.

At Certis Biologicals, we can’t provide answers to all of the challenges you are facing in this final stretch, but we can make sure that you have a biological control that gives you the versatility and flexibility you need to protect your crops until the very end.

Remember, the Certis team is ready to help you at any time. Just reach out at

This series is part of a partnership with Tree Nut Farm Press. You can read the original here.

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