Natural Ways to Eliminate Nematodes in Soybeans

June 20, 2012 By Cris Diaz

Organic approach in controlling pest on agricultural plants is the latest in agriculture technology. The method is not only effective in controlling pest but ,likewise, improved productivity of crops. Aside from its environmentally-friendly approach, the organic method for sustainable agriculture is encourage by the Food and Agriculture Organization, an agency of economic and social council of the United Nations.

- The article tells on the possibility of controlling fungal infestation on soybean farming without using expensive chemical pesticides and fertilizers,
- Organic pesticide is the treatment of quality soybean seeds prior to germination,
- The method is commercially viable. Its raw materials are cheap and available.

BEING an agricultural country, farming is the backbone of Philippine economy. A country endowed with rich and fertile lands, anything would grow in Philippine soil.

For many decades, the multi-billion dollar industry of pesticides owned by multi-national companies controlled farming in the Philippines.

Pesticides are applied in all plantations in the country - from domestic rice plantations, corn to tropical fruits like bananas, papayas, and pineapple for export.
In recent years, the excessive use of pesticides has alarmed the government and environment activists of its effect on peoples' health in particular and environment in general.

Too much pesticides and chemical fertilizers have been blamed at reduction of productivity of crops. Employing pesticides have immune some farm pest while friendly pest have been decimated resulting to marginal harvest of seasonal crops.

The destruction of natural soil nutrients was blamed on chemical fertilizers. It also diminished the soil’s natural capability to rejuvenate its nutrients and fertility. The ill effects of pesticides and aerial sprays also affected the health of people living near vast plantation sites. This prompted environment activists to lobby for the banning of pesticides and aerial sprays on large commercial plantations in the Philippines.

To remedy the situation, Filipino farmers started to introduce new methods to improve agriculture productivity without relying on pesticides and chemical fertilizers. In line with the global call for environment and climate mitigation, farmers have shifted their approach toward organic farming.

In some areas in the Philippines, some farmers have started to employ organic pesticides and fertilizers in rice farming and orchard growing. The results were impressive. Neighboring farmers who have no knowledge on organic farming wonder why others have bountiful harvest while theirs were marginal.

Some approaches in organic farming are the development of natural pesticides. The adoption of natural pesticides in the preparation of selected seedlings is the first step. For instance, the seedlings are soaked in the organic pesticides for days. After the soaking period, the seeds are now ready for germination. The idea is to shield the seeds from pest infestation the moment they are ready for planting. For instance, studies showed that fungal infestation (rhizoctonia solani) is prevalent in rice seedlings. If not immediately addressed, the infestation would attack the leaf, rice tiller, and foliage until the plant matures. There are some traditional methods employed to control the infestation by employing balance dose of fertilizer and through top dressing of 40 kg muriate of potash and two equal split at disease initiation.

In organic farming, seeds underwent treatment with organic pesticides. Raw materials are cheap and readily available. The problem of resolving nematode infestation in soybean farming through organic pesticide is very promising. The approach here is treatment of quality seedlings before planting. In the process, nematode would not be able to penetrate immune soybean roots.

‘Phakopsora pachyrhizi is one of the fungal species known to cause soybean rust and is the most aggressive. Soybean rust causes premature defoliation leading to yield losses, fewer seeds per pod, decreased number of filled pods per plant and early maturity. The early stages of the disease may be confused with bacterial pustule (Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. glycines), Septoria Brown Spot, Downy Mildew and Bacterial Leaf Spot. At later stages, the key diagnostic feature of soybean rust is the presence of egg shaped pustules that are filled with cream to tan colored spores.’ (

While rice and soybean are two different crops, both are susceptible to fungal infection of varied degrees. The point is these two crops are soil-based. Of course, soil is infested various bacteria and fungi that makes plants susceptible to it. Organic pesticide is still at its infantile stage in the Philippines. However, as self-experimentation and self-innovation progress, organic pesticide in agriculture has a bright future.

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