Remember to check for nematode problems during harvest.
Plant-parasitic nematodes are common in all field crop soils and often lower yields without being very apparent. Fall is an excellent time to find out if nematode populations are high and, if so, to develop a plan to manage them. When the weather is good for harvest, it is also good for collecting soil samples for nematode assay.
Nematode populations peak at the end of the growing season so samples assayed at this time provide an accurate description of potential hazards. If you submit samples in the fall, you will have time to plan a management strategy.
If you noticed localized areas of poor growth during the growing season, it is a good idea to collect separate soil samples from good and poor areas. Submit two samples from each of these areas-one for nematode assay and one for soil fertility. Comparison of results from good and poor areas and from nematode assays and soil tests is helpful in pinpointing a problem.