“The climate is changing and we are seeing warmer, wetter weather patterns that favour nematodes and are encouraging ‘new’ species that prefer warmth to thrive,” he said. “The reduction in the number of active substances available for use in agriculture is also having an effect – there is less pressure on nematode populations so they are not as suppressed as in previous decades.”
“Only discovered in 2004, it is believed M. minor has probably always been present in UK soils but numbers have increased dramatically with changing environmental conditions,” explained Dr Fleming. ”Generally nematode numbers have increased by 300% in the last 30 years, according to a 2011-2013 survey in Northern Ireland.”
“The active substance in NEMguard is garlic extract. The mode of action is fully understood through extensive research, and its efficacy has been confirmed in various field trials.
One such grower is Guy Poskitt, who has been developing the use of NEMguard on his farm in Yorkshire for the last ten years and talked about his experience.
“Since we’re losing more and more pesticides, we’re looking at other ways of attacking our problems,” explained Mr Poskitt. “We need to have access to a range of products as part of our crop protection toolbox. Any pesticide development, including the introduction of natural products, is welcome and possibly where the future lies,” stressed Mr Poskitt.
Dr Chris Hamilton, who has been working with sulfur chemistry at East Anglia University for a number of years, explained some basic biochemistry, and the background research behind NEMguard.
There are extensive quality controls in place to make sure NEMguard consistently contains the ‘right’ mix of polysulfides to maintain its efficacy and ensure a long-term release, concluded Dr Hamilton.