Evaluation of root- knot nematode management strategies based on their distribution in tomato fields in Mwea, Kenya.
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Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) are mainly grown by small scale farmers in most arable areas in Kenya with the main production areas being in Central Province. Tomato production in Kenya is hampered by a variety of pests and diseases among other factors. Plant parasitic nematodes (PPN), particularly root knot nematodes (RKN) are a serious pest problem in smallholder tomato farms in Kenya. Nematode management is primarily dependent on the application of chemical nematicides. These nematicides are often broadcasted uniformly on the cultivated fields regardless of the relative nematode distribution in the farm. However nematode populations are usually not uniformly distributed. Uniform field-wide applications of nematicides can therefore result in wasteful expenditure as well as adverse environmental effects. Identification of specific areas within individual fields for targeted nematicide application may allow producers to reduce the amount of nematicides applied for nematode control and lower production costs. This study evaluated different nematode management strategies for varying nematode densities in Mwea, Kenya. Nematode resistant tomato varieties Assila, Sandokan and a susceptible variety, Riogrande as well as varying applications of Mocap (Ethoprophos) were evaluated and the most effective management options identified.