Sustainable, Chemical-free Nematode Control in Senegal
After persistent loss of yield due to nematodes, and a desire to move towards a more sustainable agriculture, these growers in Senegal looked to the Aqua4D system after having seen its successes in other countries. In particular, they wanted to analyze the efficacy of Aqua4D in reducing the population of Meloidogyne nematodes, whose attacks their green beans are particularly sensitive to.
As the main goal was to go to explore chemical-free alternatives to nematicides, they decided on a direct comparative study: comparing Aqua4D and the Rugby 20EC nematicide literally side by side.
On 1 hectare of land, two plots were to be treated by Rugby, and two plots treated using the Aqua4D system. On the last count prior to the study, both Meloidogyne and non-parasitic nematodes had been prevalent in both the soil and the root area – between 100 and 200 per 100g of soil, in fact.
These nematodes affect root development and hence productivity and yields of green beans. So the parameters to be measured were root mass, nematodes in the soil & root area, and net weight of yields after the studied period.
The Aqua4D system does not eliminate nematodes in an invasive way, as chemical nematicides do. There are absolutely no chemicals used here, and nothing is added to the irrigation water. Instead, Aqua4D uses an innovative treatment to rearrange the structure of water molecules.
Crucial fact: the nematodes are not killed or harmed – they’re distracted away from the roots, meaning they can then no longer harm the roots or lay eggs there. And healthy root growth means healthy plants, which ultimately means higher yields.
This change to the physical structure of water increases absorption in soil, but significantly in this case, the same treatment also has the effect of repelling nematodes away from the root area (more info here).
What effect would the Senegal grower see on his nematode problem and his plants?
– Rugby 20EC nematicide (containing the cadusaphos pesticide) applied in a 24L total dosage across 25 days.
– Aqua-4D device installed as part of the existing irrigation system, and used throughout normal irrigation processes.
– Plots included both the Paulista and Processor variety of green beans
Several variables were measured mid-cycle and at the conclusion. As the plots were side by side, it ensured that the only difference was the application of Rugby nematicide / Aqua4D respectively.
The end results (available here as PDF, in French) were beyond the wildest expectations of the grower. It showed a conclusive victory for the Aqua4D system, which came out top in almost every aspect.