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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: FIELD EVALUATION OF A BROAD-SPECTRUM, NON-FUMIGANT PEST CONTROL FOR VEGETABLE AND STRAWBERRY PRODUCTION IN FLORIDA

Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To establish the effectiveness of the experimental material for the control of soilborne pests associated with the production of strawberries.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Replicated, repeated research trials will be conducted to compare the commercial standard with the experimental material. Two strawberry trials will be conducted in cooperation with Florida Ag Research in order to evaluate the movement of the material in the bed and its efficacy against sting nematode. Nematode, weed, and fungal populations will be assessed in each trial. Plots will be harvested based on the commercial standard for the crop.


3.Progress Report:

This research is related to inhouse project objectives 1. Develop new management strategies for control of pests and pathogens currently or previously controlled by soil fumigants in vegetable and ornamental cropping systems; and 2. Integrate cultural, biological, and chemical control tactics into technically feasible pest management programs for soilborne pests and pathogens.

Two strawberry trials were conducted at the Florida Strawberry Growers Association Dover Research Farm. These trials included five treatments: Untreated Check, two rates of the experimental material SPK applied through drip lines, InLine® (Dow AgroSciences, 1,3-dichloropropene:chloropicrin, as the commercial standard), and the best non-chemical standard developed in a recently completed project. Treatments were replicated four times. The In-Line and SPK applications were performed using a standard drip application system. The first season strawberry field trial was established in October 2010 and was completed in May 2011. The second season trial was established in September 2011 and was completed in March 2012. Drip applications in the second year were conducted by Florida Ag Research. The first vegetable trial was initiated at the Thonotosassa location in July 2012 and completed in December 2012. The second vegetable trial, at the Dover location, was initiated in August 2012 and completed in January 2013. The vegetable experiments were established with six treatments: untreated, methyl bromide, SPK shank applied at 480 gal/A and 1714 gal/A and drip applied at 480 gal/A and 1714 gal/A. Each treatment was replicated four times and a plot consisted of 100’ of treated bed (36” wide at the base). All treatments were covered with Canslit brand metalized film to assist with whitefly control. All material applications for the vegetable trials were conducted by Brad Booker. All transplants were obtained, planted, and managed by Florida Ag Research. Florida Ag Research collected pH data and conducted all harvesting of plots. All plots were harvested based on the commercial standard and all picking events were supervised by Florida Ag Research. Generation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) was monitored immediately after treatment, 24 hours, and one week after treatment. No VOCs were detected in any of the SPK-treated plots. Plots treated using a shank application of the high rate of SPK remained at a low pH for significantly longer than plots with the same rate applied through drip irrigation. There was a total of 23 picks for each strawberry season harvest. Total weight of fruit was numerically lowest in the UTC and anaerobic soil disinfestations (ASD) plots; however there were no statistically significant differences among any treatment in the first year. Improvements in crop nutrition in the second strawberry season resulted in the highest yield occurring in ASD-treated plots. In the vegetable trials, there were no significant differences in yield detected in the Dover pepper trial. The only significant difference in pepper yield for the Thonotosassa trial was between the lowest yielding treatment, SPK-Low shank, and the highest yielding treatment, methyl bromide. Tomato yield in the Thonotosassa trial was lowest in the SPK-High drip treatment and highest in the methyl bromide treatment. The cucumber yield was highest in the SPK-High drip application, but this was not significantly different from either the methyl bromide or the untreated check.


Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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