Comparison of Variable and Single-Rate Applications of Aldicarb on Cotton Yield in Fields Infested with Meloidogyne incognita
Variable-rate applications of the nematicide aldicarb were compared to producer standard rates in eight field tests over 3 years. Test areas (308 to 1,015 m long) were divided into eight or five blocks. Each block contained two plots with a variable-rate treatment (VRT) of aldicarb and a producer standard treatment (PST) of aldicarb. Each VRT plot was divided into three subunits and intensively sampled for Meloidogyne incognita in either the fall or spring before planting. Rates of aldicarb
... tes of aldicarb were assigned to each subunit for VRT based on M. incognita population density. In three of the eight tests, VRT resulted in either higher yield or similar yields, but less nematicide applied. In two tests there were no differences between PST and VRT in yields or average rates of aldicarb applied. In three tests, VRT used more aldicarb (>0.17 kg a.i./ha difference) than PST and yields were not significantly different between treatments. In two of the cases where VRT was superior to PST, the producer's rate of aldicarb was judged to be either too low or too high for the average M. incognita density present in the field. In all three cases where PST was superior to VRT, perennial weeds were an important factor also limiting yield. Variable-rate application of aldicarb did not consistently provide for higher yields or lower ne-maticide usage than standard application rates.