Detection of nematodes in kiwi plantations in the region of La Ribera Alta (Valencia)

In recent years, there has been a large increase in cultivated fields of kiwi to meet the needs of farmers who are betting on alternative farming in the area of Valencia, and with each passing day it is consolidating as a crop for the future.
This crop needs special cares in order to obtain the adequate production. In the region of La Ribera Alta, in particular, there are many plantations that after 3-4 years of cultivation, have not obtained any harvest yet. Kiwi main problems are:
– It has a superficial root system, so you should be careful when making the field tillage work.
– It requires pollinators for bearing fruit. It is convenient to install hives.
– Pollen becomes dehydrated when the temperature is above 26 °C, resulting in a fruit set lack.
– It is demanding in deep, sandy loam, permeable soil, rich in M.O (3-4%) and sub-acidic (pH = 6-6.5).
– It is very sensitive to soil waterlogging and root suffocation.
– It is sensitive to active limestone soils >9% and chlorine.
– It is very demanding in N, K and Ca.
– It is sensitive to Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (PSA).
Add to all these factors, kiwi plantations are highly sensitive to nematodes. After the problems experienced by farmers in the area of La Ribera Alta, we went to several plots to carry out a visual inspection on the ground, and we found that the roots were highly infected with nematodes. Nematodes attack the roots of Actinidia leading to root rot. These parasites penetrate the roots producing their deformity. Besides, the aerial part of the plant delays its entry into production, leaf yellowing appears and consequently, the plant dies. According to the literature reviewed, nematodes that affect kiwi are typically three: Meloidogyne hapla, M. arenaria and M. javanica.
Indications to minimize the nematode effects:
– Provide organic matter and urea to soil. This would get improve the structure, control pathogens, improve microbiological activity and facilitate fertirrigation.
-Application of the fungus Paecilomyces Lilacimus, a mixture of mycorrhizae.
-Use of authorised nematicides.
For more information you can contact with crop specialists of IVIA (the Valencian Institute of Agrarian Research) in Moncada:

nematodos en kiwi