Potato cyst eelworm (Heterodera spp.)
A microscopic nematode, the 'eelworm', creates cysts the size of a pin-head, which may be white, yellow or brown, on the roots of the potato family.
- The crop grows poorly
- Leaves turn yellow or brown from the bottom up, and die down early.
- In severe cases, the crop may fail altogether.
Prevention & control
- The best defense is a resistant variety, of which there are many
- Combine with good crop rotation. As the nematode's eggs can survive up to 10-15 years, the longer the rotation, the better
- Burn affected plants after harvesting
- There is a suggestion that a mustard green manure inhibits eelworm, so this is worth a go if you can afford to leave the plot fallow