Florida grower Will Hyatt has already made good use of Nimitz on the 2,000acres of high value fruit and vegetable crops that he produces near Lake Wales. Root knot nematodes are a particular issue for the specialist business, as they can cause total crop loss.
“We are growing crops such as Cantaloupes and strawberries, which have a reputation for taste,” he explains. “Where we have high populations of nematodes, the crops are unable to develop sufficient sugar content due to systemic wilt caused by nematode feeding, so we can’t guarantee the desired taste.”
Total loss of a Canteloupe melon crop can cost him as much as $10,000/acre, while failure with strawberry crops brings a $25,000/acre penalty, he reveals. “So we are reliant on nematicides and make use of them on a rotational basis every season.”
However, the costs of buying and applying them can be prohibitive, he admits. “There are real drawbacks to using fumigants, which have to be handled with great care and applied by contractors. They also have minimum re-entry intervals and can restrict the choice of following crops.”
Mr Hyatt’s close working relationship with distributors and Adama allowed him to carry out a comparison between Telone and Nimitz last year. “The material cost for the two products is very similar, but there is a huge difference in their application costs and procedures.”
Just being able to spray Nimitz and work it into the soil saved him time and money, as well as avoiding the need for PPE and other application precautions, he recalls. “It also had a more lasting effect on the nematodes, giving better control. We can see a big future for the product on this farm.”
The fact that Vydate will be in short supply this year is another reason why vegetable growers will be switching to Nimitz this year, he notes.