1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
To evaluate herbicide and fumigant combinations for broad spectrum pest control in open-field production of perennial (tree, vine, and ornamental) nursery stock in the absence of methyl bromide and transfer knowledge to stakeholders via a cooperative extension program.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Field research and demonstration plots will be established in commercial nurseries in the Central Valley of California. Data on control of weeds, nematodes, and soil pathogens of economic or regulatory importance to the tree, vine, and ornamental nursery industry will be evaluated by ARS and UC personnel. Technology transfer efforts to facilitate adoption of methyl bromide alternative pest control strategies will be conducted in cooperation with research and extension faculty and support personnel at the University of California, Davis.
This Specific Cooperative Agreement contributes to Objective 4 of the parent project. After nematode certification requirements, grower concerns about weed control and production costs remain the largest factors inhibiting adoption of alternative fumigants. Although qualitative and quantitative data are being collected, the primary focus of the project is technology transfer to facilitate adoption of alternatives. Four demonstration trials have been conducted in commercial nurseries from Shafter, CA to Yuba City, CA representing soil and growing conditions relevant to most of the perennial nursery industry in the state. This project also provides data on the weed control efficacy and crop safety with herbicides in nursery crops in an effort to reduce the impacts of reduced weed control with some alternative fumigants. Results have been presented to industry groups, scientific meetings, and in numerous consultations with individual growers. Based in part on this effort, several major nursery operations in California are using methyl bromide alternatives and others are testing alternatives before broad adoption and many growers have initiated or altered their herbicide programs based on this work. Although methyl bromide remains the only viable option for nursery stock certification in some situations (namely fine textured soils), the integrated pest management research and the associated technology transfer efforts in this program are contributing to adoption of methyl bromide alternatives in California perennial crop nurseries. The lead scientist holds regular communications with the investigator through e-mails, telephone calls and annual meetings.