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This NebGuide describes how to interpret laboratory results of samples submitted for nematode analysis and discusses ten species that are potentially damaging to corn.
Several kinds of plant parasitic nematodes (small, soil-inhabiting roundworms) are associated with root injury, poor plant color, stunted growth, and reduced grain yields in field corn. Symptoms caused by these pests are often confused with root rot diseases, nutritional deficiencies or climatic stresses. Special laboratory analyses are, therefore, necessary to determine if nematodes are the primary cause of reduced corn performance. Since corn growers may be unfamiliar with nematode diseases, the following discussion of laboratory reports may be helpful.