Broad disease constraint resources are outlined in the Agronomists Toolkit. Specific disease categories are listed below:


Stem nematode

Constraint - Stem nematode


  • Stem nematodes are relatively common plant parasites and are widespread in temperate areas of Australia

  • Stem nematodes prefer heavier soil types and cooler, moist conditions

  • Stem nematodes can tolerate desiccation 


  • Distorted extra tillers or stems

  • Stunted growth and a very compact crown, giving a swollen appearance

  • Reduced leaf area either side of the midrib

  • Some symptoms may be confused with herbicide damage, water-logging or nutrient deficiency


  • Yield penalty is generally mild, though severe untreated infections can cause poor emergence and result in seedling death 


Controlling stem nematodes is difficult once they have invaded plants, so control efforts should focus on rotations involving non-host crops, controlling volunteer hosts in paddocks, and avoiding the spread of infested plant material, hay, seed and soil. Crop rotation remains the most effective means of control. 





Links and Resources

AOF - Stem nematode

Description, damage, monitoring, and management.

CESAR - Pestfacts Stem nematode

Information on sightings, damage, problematic species, range, lifecycle, monitoring and control. Published 2011.

DAFWA - Stem nematode

2 page PDF. What is stem nematode and what can it be confused with, what to look for, spread, location, and farm protection.