Sweet Potato Growers Beware of New Nematode

North Carolina’s Ag Commissioner, Steve Troxler says that sweet potato growers should be aware of an emerging root-knot nematode that has been identified in fields in eastern North Carolina.

This nematode is knows as the pacara ear pod and has been identified in Columbus, Johnston, Wayne and Wilson Counties.  The nematode has been identified through testing and nematode assays, and was first identified in the Tar Heel State in 2013, and first identified in the US in Florida in 2004.

This pest affects the quality of the potatoes, and often causes a total loss of the crop.

Growers are being advised to fumigate land before planting, and contact the NCDA Agronomic Division with further concerns.


A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.

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