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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Optimizing Fumigation Rate, Application Depth, and Use of Plastic Mulch for Strawberry Production in Raised-Beds Systems

Location: Water Management Research

Project Number: 5302-13000-011-40
Project Type: Reimbursable

Start Date: Jul 01, 2013
End Date: Jun 30, 2014

Objective:
Develop effective field fumigation strategies with deep injection in drip application under plastic mulch to improve fumigant distribution, pest control, and strawberry yield while reducing emissions, chemical input and agricultural wastes.

Approach:
A comprehensive field trial will be conducted at a commercial strawberry field in the major strawberry production region of California. The field will have confirmed high levels of critical pathogens and resident weeds that would affect strawberry plant growth. Fumigant will be applied through drip irrigation tapes. Two depths (5 cm, 15 cm) of irrigation line, three rates (full rate, 2/3, and 1/3 rate) of fumigant, and three surface tarping [standard polyethylene (PE), totally impermeable film (TIF) and a recycled plastic film (RPF)] treatments will be applied in completely randomized 4 replicates. Data on fumigant distribution in soil, fumigant emission, and efficacy data will be collected to evaluate the effective treatments for pest control and emission control. The fumigated field will be transplanted with strawberry. The plant growth and root developments as well as strawberry yield will be monitored for a full growing season. By collecting all of the data, the effective treatments for pest control, high yield, less chemical needs, and appropriate or better mulch methods will be determined. The project results will be extended to growers and stakeholders via various outreach efforts.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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