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DiTera® is a microbial nematicide derived from the microorganism Myrothecium verrucaria. DiTera provides significant plant health benefits resulting in higher crop yields and an excellent return on investment. Use of DiTera can increase root and shoot vigor, enhance root nutrient uptake and result in enhanced foliage color. DiTera acts by selectively controlling plant parasitic nematodes that affect the root systems of many economic crops including vegetables, tomatoes, cole crops, grapes, stone fruit, citrus, nut crops, bananas, pineapples, turf, and ornamentals.

DiTera controls nematodes through several different modes of action. First, it kills nematodes by paralyzing the muscles that control feeding and locomotion. It also inhibits nematode sensory organs, causing disorientation, and prevents egg hatching and development.

DiTera impacts soil properties as well. It enhances beneficial soil microbe populations, reduces root susceptibility to secondary infections, and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity. Roots are more efficient and nutrient uptake is improved, as evidenced by greater plant vigor, better foliage, and a visual greening effect. Plant and shoot weights increase as a result.

DiTera is an excellent tool for resistance management. Because of its varied modes of action, DiTera will work against nematode populations that have demonstrated resistance or reduced susceptibility to standard nematicidal products. It also has a first-rate safety profile. A non-restricted use product with a minimum re-entry interval of only four hours, it offers more flexibility than other nematicides. It is highly specific, only affecting plant parasitic nematodes – not beneficial nematodes. DiTera also has an excellent environmental profile, with low toxicity for birds, fish, insects, and earthworms.

DiTera is OMRI® listed and USDA National Organic Program (NOP) certified.

Measuring DiTera’s Efficacy

The best way to measure the benefits of DiTera is by evaluating root development, plant vigor, and crop yield – not by counting nematode deaths using soil extraction.

Why not count dead pests? First, soil extraction does not differentiate paralyzed and weakened nematodes from actively feeding parasites. This means nematode counts gathered by soil extraction will include those that are living but can no longer harm the plant. Secondly, dead nematode counts don’t take into account the effect that DiTera has in improving root systems of healthy plants. Studies show that DiTera promotes root growth and may significantly increase root mass, meaning the ratio of nematodes to root density is measurably lower.

Nematodes feed through a feeding tube, or stylet. DiTera causes stylet paralysis, limiting the pest’s ability to feed.

Another paralysis related effect DiTera causes non-reversible effects on nematode movement.

DiTera stimulates growth of the beneficial organisms in the root rhizosphere increasing root health and plant nutrient availability.
Root systems from pepper plants treated with DiTera (left) and a standard nematicide (right).
DiTera produces an abundance of white roots with reduced root galling due to control of root knot nematodes.

The increase of soil microbial populations is a pronounced benefit of DiTera application. Research shows that increased microbial populations, especially in the rhizosphere, results in a similar increase in catalase, protease, chitiobiase, and urease activities. This increased enzyme activity is consistent across multiple soil types and brings about visible changes in root architecture.

Since its introduction in 1996, DiTera has become an especially valuable tool in high quality wine growing regions in the Americas. In the Napa Valley region of the U.S., yield increases and improved plant vigor have been consistently observed. In Chile, where Xiphenima pressure is high, adoption of the technology is also becoming standard.

Vegetable growers are now using DiTera as well. Increased root efficiency is resulting in significant yield and profit enhancements. Tomato and pepper growers, in particular, have been quick to adopt the technology.

Always read and follow the label instructions when using any VBC product.