ADOPTION OF ‘SOLID-TARP’ SOIL SOLARIZATION BY CUT-FLOWER GROWERS
Subtropical Plant Pathology Research
2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Custom fabricate solid-tarp application implements suitable for cut-flower production systems.
2. Educate growers on solid-tarp solarization application and the availability of equipment to implement it for commercial evaluation.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
In the South Atlantic Area, solid-tarp soil solarization has demonstrated potential as an alternative to solid-tarp fumigation for cut-flower growers, primarily to extend the required time intervals between fumigant applications from annually to once every 3 years. Traditionally, solid-tarp applications (laying and gluing plastic panels in the field to create a solid-tarp) are performed by commercial fumigation services in conjunction with the sale and application of chemical fumigants. The goal of this project is to facilitate the availability of ‘solid-tarp’ soil solarization application methods for cut-flower growers currently dependent upon solid-tarp soil fumigation methods.
This process requires two separate implements. The first implement applies drip irrigation tubing at 1 ft spacings and rolls (compacts) the soil surface to create a seal. The second implement applies and glues together the plastic panels. The second objective is to validate its applicability of this two-step procedure in large-scale demonstration plots implemented on commercial cut-flower farms.
This research related to inhouse objective: The overall goals of the program will be to establish and implement an areawide pest management research and action program for methyl bromide (MB) alternatives.
A new apparatus for implementing soil solarization as a nonfumigant alternative to methyl bromide was designed and fabricated. The apparatus was evaluated in large (> 1 acre) demonstration plots on 4 different farms that included Conventional strawberry and cut-flower farms and organic vegetable farms.