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Comprehensive Nematode Evaluation

plant parasitic nematodes Nematodes, the Unseen Enemy of Golf Greens

Plant parasitic nematodes occur in all soils but in golf greens they can build up to very high population densities. Golf greens are an ideal environment for nematodes providing a uniform host with a long growing season. Repeated topdressing results in a sandy texture which provides ideal pore spaces for oxygen, water and nematode mobility and reproduction.   Golf greens are irrigated frequently and nematodes are aquatic animals requiring moisture for mobility. When plant parasitic nematode populations become high, they result in root dysfunction followed by wilting and thinning of the turf, and very likely increase susceptibility to stress diseases like anthracnose. Wilting and thinning are not unique to nematode injury; anything that results in root dysfunction can produce these symptoms. The only way to determine if nematodes are a problem is to have the soil assayed for nematode population levels. The types of nematodes in greens do not change very much; the species composition present today will likely be the same twenty years from now.

A Nematode Survey is a Health Check-up for your Greens

A survey of nematodes will indicate whether you have potentially injurious nematodes, or weak parasites. We determine this by identifying the genera of nematodes extracted from the soil. While the number of nematodes per 100 cc of soil will change yearly due to various factors including natural enemies, the genera and species will not change substantially. In addition to assaying your soil for nematodes we can also estimate how many nematodes are infected   by natural soil dwelling parasites (fungi and bacteria). Are you too busy to perform comprehensive sampling? We can do the sampling for you. Depending on how busy we are, we can have the results in four to seven business days. See the cost schedule below:

For us to sample 18-20 greens:
Less than 50 mi * $ 500
Less than 100 mi $ 550
Less than 150 mi $ 600
Each nematode assay $ 75
Each nematode health assay ** $ 25
* Round trip from UMass
** Assessment of bacterial and fungal infections on the nematodes

Examples of costs

  • You sample 18 greens and send them in for nematode assay: $1350
  • As above but include nematode health assay: $1800
  • We take the samples (18), your location is 24 miles from UMass, nematode assay only: $1850
  • We take the samples (18) including health assessment, your location is 24 miles from UMass: $2300


Dr. Robert Wick
University of Massachusetts
109 Fernald Hall
270 Stockbridge Road
Amherst, MA 01003-9285

Tel: (413) 545-1045
Fax: (413) 545-2115