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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: ADOPTION OF ‘SOLID-TARP’ SOIL SOLARIZATION BY CUT-FLOWER GROWERS

Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

Project Number: 0500-00044-031-06
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 01, 2011
End Date: Sep 30, 2013

Objective:
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.

Approach:
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.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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