Potato Grower magazine reports in its February 2019 issue on the potential of a novel mustard meal extract for control of PCN. In the article, it is pointed out that nematode-related damage has been estimated to reduce yield by nearly 25 percent in the US. Globally, nematode damage is estimated to reduce yield by 12 percent, at a cost of $157 billion.
Despite the presence of resistant varieties, it is estimated that 9 percent of the total annual potato crop in the United Kingdom, or $70 million, is lost because of potato cyst nematodes. In Idaho, where potato cannot be planted on infested land, preliminary data suggest that PCN costs the state approximately $25 million per year.
Given the current withdrawal from use of methyl bromide and the very limited availability of other inorganic nematicides, the need to consider other strategies for nematode control has become acute.
Potentially viable alternatives exist in the form of natural products derived from plants in the mustard family.
Plants in the mustard family produce a broad range of glucosinolates (GSLs) that hydrolyze to toxic metabolites that can be utilized in biofumigation for nematode control. Sinigrin, which is found in high levels in Oriental mustard (Brassica juncea), was identified as the GSL with the most activity.