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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Developing a Better Agricultural Management Practice for Plastic Mulch Vegetable Production Systems

Authors
item Harman Fetcho, Jennifer
item Rice, Pamela
item Herbert, Rachel
item Teasdale, John
item Sadeghi, Ali
item Hapeman, Cathleen

Submitted to: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 11, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Runoff from agriculture has long been identified as a major concern to water quality degradation. Recently, runoff from commercial tomato production has been implicated in the failure of shellfish hatcheries on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. The objective of this project was to modify the currently-accepted plastic mulch vegetable production system so as to minimize the observed negative environmental impacts. The hypothesis was that cereal rye vegetative buffer strips planted in the furrows between the rows would decrease soil loss, pesticide, and total runoff volume losses from the fields without impacting overall harvest yields. Cereal rye was incorporated into the existing vegetable production system and compared to the traditional bare soil with plastic system. Total runoff volume and soil and pesticide losses were measured along with harvest yields from experimental field plots. First year results indicated a reduction in soil and pesticide loads and no statistically significant differences in harvest yields. Results for the occurrence of copper hydroxide, fenvalerate, endosulfan, chlorothalonil, and metribuzin will be presented.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014