yellow potato cyst nematode

yellow potato cyst nematode

© Bonsak Hammeraas

Type: Pests

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
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