A survey conducted from May 1995 through August 1998 revealed diverse nematode communities in Louisiana sugarcane fields. High populations of Mesocriconema, Paratrichodorus, Pratylenchus, and Tylenchorhynchus were widespread in nine sugarcane production parishes. Comparisons of plant cane and ratoon sugarcane crops indicated that nematode community levels increase significantly in successive ratoon crops. Nematicide trials evaluated the efficacy of aldicarb, ethoprop, and phorate against indigenous nematode populations. Aldicarb consistently increased the number of millable stalks, cane tonnage, and yield of sucrose in soils with a high sand content. Yield increases were concomitant with reductions in the density of the nematode community shortly after planting and at harvest. In soils with a higher clay content, the chemicals were less effective in controlling nematode populations and, as a result, yield increases were minimal.