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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Alternatives to methyl bromide soil fumigation for vegetable and floriculture production

Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

Title: Field validation of a fumigant alternative to methyl bromide

Author
item Chellemi, Daniel

Submitted to: Proceedings of International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2009
Publication Date: November 11, 2009
Citation: Chellemi, D.O. 2009. Field validation of a fumigant alternative to methyl bromide. Proceedings of International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives.

Interpretive Summary: Four large-scale field demonstration trials were conducted in South Florida in cooperation with a commercial pepper/cucumber grower. The size of each trial ranged from 4.0 to 7.8 acres. Each trial consisted of a pepper primary crop followed by a cucumber second crop. The fumigant alternative consisted of a combined application of Chloropicrin (150 lbs/acre), 1,3-dichloropropene (Telone II, 10 gal/acre) and metam potassium (K-PAM HL, 65 gal/acre). Chloropicrin and 1,3-dichloropropene were shank applied at a 9 and 12 inch depth, respectively prior to the formation of beds (39 inches wide by 10 inches tall). Metam potassium was injected into the formed beds at a 4 inch depth using vertical coulters. The soil was immediately covered with a high barrier plastic mulch (Blockade, Pliant Corp). Fresh market pepper was cultivated as the primary crop. After completion of the final pepper harvest, the plants were mowed and cucumber was planted into the existing beds. The 3-way fumigant alternative had a significant affect on the growth of pepper with observed reductions in plant height ranging from 16% to 21%. Total Marketable yields of pepper were greater with the 3-way fumigant alternatives in 2 of the 4 trials (Table 1). However, a reduction in the marketable yield of the largest size fruit (Jumbo) was observed in all four trials. The 3-way fumigant alternative had a significant affect on the growth of pepper with observed reductions in plant height ranging from 16% to 21%. Observed differences in the growth and yield of pepper were correlated to elevated soil concentrations of potassium in the 3-way fumigant alternative (Table 2). Elevated soil potassium was attributed to contributions of the metam potassium treatment (121 lbs/acre of K20). As a result, recommendations are being made to adjust soil fertility programs in order to accommodate the additional applications of K20 from the metam potassium treatment.

Technical Abstract: Four large-scale field demonstration trials were conducted in South Florida in cooperation with a commercial pepper/cucumber grower. The size of each trial ranged from 4.0 to 7.8 acres. Each trial consisted of a pepper primary crop followed by a cucumber second crop. The fumigant alternative consisted of a combined application of Chloropicrin (150 lbs/acre), 1,3-dichloropropene (Telone II, 10 gal/acre) and metam potassium (K-PAM HL, 65 gal/acre). Chloropicrin and 1,3-dichloropropene were shank applied at a 9 and 12 inch depth, respectively prior to the formation of beds (39 inches wide by 10 inches tall). Metam potassium was injected into the formed beds at a 4 inch depth using vertical coulters. The soil was immediately covered with a high barrier plastic mulch (Blockade, Pliant Corp). Fresh market pepper was cultivated as the primary crop. After completion of the final pepper harvest, the plants were mowed and cucumber was planted into the existing beds. The 3-way fumigant alternative had a significant affect on the growth of pepper with observed reductions in plant height ranging from 16% to 21%. Total Marketable yields of pepper were greater with the 3-way fumigant alternatives in 2 of the 4 trials (Table 1). However, a reduction in the marketable yield of the largest size fruit (Jumbo) was observed in all four trials. The 3-way fumigant alternative had a significant affect on the growth of pepper with observed reductions in plant height ranging from 16% to 21%. Observed differences in the growth and yield of pepper were correlated to elevated soil concentrations of potassium in the 3-way fumigant alternative (Table 2). Elevated soil potassium was attributed to contributions of the metam potassium treatment (121 lbs/acre of K20). As a result, recommendations are being made to adjust soil fertility programs in order to accommodate the additional applications of K20 from the metam potassium treatment.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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