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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Alternatives to MEBR for California Cropping Systems

Location: Water Management Research

Title: Demonstration of low permeability tarp technology in soil fumigation for perennials

Authors
item Gao, Suduan
item Qin, Ruijun -
item Cabrera, Lafonso -
item Hanson, Bradley -
item Gerik, James
item Wang, Dong
item Browne, Greg

Submitted to: International Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reductions
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 6, 2010
Publication Date: November 1, 2010
Citation: Gao, S., Qin, R., Cabrera, L., Hanson, B.D., Gerik, J.S., Wang, D., Browne, G.T. 2010. Demonstration of low permeability tarp technology in soil fumigation for perennials. Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Research Conference Proceedings. p.26-1 - 26-4.

Interpretive Summary: The replanting of many perennial crops still relies on pre-plant soil fumigation for establishing healthy trees and grapevines in California. However, emissions have resulted in stringent regulations that limit soil fumigant use. Management strategies that minimize emissions and improve pest control efficacy are needed to help maintain the availability of fumigants to commodities. This project is to evaluate the potential of using a new low permeability tarp, the so-called totally impermeable film or TIF, to reduce emissions, improve efficacy and reduce application rates in soil fumigation for perennial crops. Field tests were conducted in 2009 and 2010 from broadcast application of Telone C35 at full and reduced rates for replanting. The TIF tarp demonstrated its effectiveness on significant emission reduction, its ability to retain higher fumigant concentrations in soils than the standard tarp, and improved efficacy on selected nematode and weed control. Surges of emissions upon tarp-cutting, however, raised a great concern because much higher emission rates were measured from the TIF tarp than the standard film. Further research is needed to determine the proper waiting period for tarp-cutting and also to determine reduced rates for satisfactory pest control. This information is essential for developing successful TIF technology in soil fumigation.

Technical Abstract: Control of soil-borne pests and replanting diseases still relies on pre-plant soil fumigation for establishing healthy trees and grapevines in California. Emission reduction from soil fumigation is required to minimize environmental impacts. Management strategies that minimize emissions and improve pest control efficacy offer hope for maintaining the availability of fumigants to the commodities in the prospective short-term and intermediate future. This project is to evaluate the potential of using a new low permeability tarp, the so-called totally impermeable film or TIF, to reduce emissions, improve efficacy and reduce application rates in soil fumigation for perennial crops. Field tests were conducted in 2009 and 2010 from broadcast application of Telone C35 at full and reduced rates for replanting. The TIF tarp demonstrated its effectiveness in significantly reducing emissions and the ability to retain higher fumigant concentrations in soils than the standard tarp. Good efficacy on selected nematode control at all rates and some improvement in weed control were observed under TIF in comparison with the standard tarp. Following tarp-cutting after a 2 week covering period, however, surges of emissions were determined with much higher rates from the TIF tarp than the standard film. Thus, a longer waiting period for tarp-cutting is most likely needed. This project has generated information regarding the safe use of TIF, which is essential for developing successful TIF technology in soil fumigation for perennials.

Last Modified: 8/21/2014