Although hot water treatment can be used to combat nematodes in perennial plants, the method causes a certain amount of damage (shedding) in many species. The CATT practice network is therefore conducting research into combating nematodes using the CATT (Controlled Atmosphere Temperature Treatment) method.
Uncontaminated planting stock is an important starting point when trying to control nematode infestations in perennials. It reduces the need for chemical soil decontaminants by minimising re-infestation.
Hot water treatment
Hot water treatment can tackle the nematodes. It is even compulsory for certain species able to withstand the treatment (such as astilbe and peonies) before being exported to the US, Canada and Japan, as an extra guarantee for nematode-free consignments. But even these species are damaged by the treatment. The CATT method is expected to prove more suitable.
Temperature treatment CATT
CATT is a temperature treatment lasting several days in changing air compositions (CO2 and O2 conditions). No chemical substances are needed (no emissions). The method was first devised (and is now in widespread use) in the Dutch strawberry farming sector to combat the strawberry mite, and it was successfully expanded in 2012 to become an effective treatment for root-knot nematodes.
One of the main advantages is that in the right conditions, planting stock suffers no damage. There are indications that perennials can also withstand CATT, but further research is needed.
A practice network consists of companies or organisations that join the members of a partnership to help realise the project goals. The companies or organisations provide knowledge, funding or labour for the project. A practice network may, for example, comprise non-profit organisations, government bodies or consultancies. Agricultural concerns, knowledge institutions and medium-sized and small business in the agro sector can also take part in practice networks.
The partnership (several agricultural concerns, either together or in combination with medium-sized and small business in the agro sector and/or knowledge institutions) apply for funding and take the initiative in starting a practice network with other parties. This partnership is the nerve centre of the practice network.