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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Current Status and Future Directions of Methyl Bromide Alternatives for Pepper

Authors
item Burelle, Nancy
item Chellemi, Daniel
item Rosskopf, Erin

Submitted to: Journal of Nematology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 31, 2005
Publication Date: May 20, 2005
Citation: Burelle, N.K., Chellemi, D.O., Rosskopf, E.N. 2005. Current status and future directions of methyl bromide alternatives for pepper. Journal of Nematology.

Interpretive Summary: Florida is one of the largest pepper producers in the U.S. With the phase-out of methyl bromide, weeds are going to become the most important and difficult pests to control in Florida pepper production, followed by soilborne pathogens and nematodes. Currently, the best available alternative to methyl bromide for pepper production in Florida is a combination of Telone C-35 (1,3-dichloropropene + 35% chloropicrin) broadcast 3-5 weeks before planting, followed by chloropicrin shanked into the bed, and a herbicide tank mix of Clomazone and s-metolachlor over the bed top at plastic laying. Problems with these alternatives include additional costs for broadcast fumigation and herbicides, increased field maintenance costs, and inadequate efficacy and potential phytotoxicity of herbicides. Also, uncertainty surrounding regulatory issues and registration status of existing and developing alternatives make production planning difficult for growers. Methyl bromide alternative research programs in Florida are concentrating on addressing issues important to growers, and on insuring the future viability of the pepper industry. Areas of research focus on development of alternative application technology, improving performance of existing chemical fumigants, evaluation of existing and new fumigants using virtually impermeable films (VIF), development of new chemical products, and integration of nonchemical strategies into commercial production systems.

Technical Abstract: Florida is one of the largest pepper producers in the U.S. with approximately 7,000 ha harvested in 2001-2002. Weeds are considered the most important pests in Florida pepper production followed by soilborne pathogens and nematodes. The most problematic weed species are nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus and C. esculentus), nightshade (Solanum spp.), white clover (Trifolium repens), and ragweed (Ambrosia artemisifolia). Soilborne pathogens causing significant yield loss include Phytophthora blight (Phytophthora capsici), damping-off (Rhizoctonia solani, and Pythium spp.) root-rot (Pythium spp.), and white mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum). Root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne spp) is the most important plant-parasitic nematode affecting pepper. Currently, the best available alternative to methyl bromide for pepper production in Florida is a combination of Telone C-35 (1,3-dichloropropene + 35% chloropicrin) at 187-221 l/ha broadcast 3-5 weeks before planting, followed by chloropicrin at 78-116 kg/ha shanked into the bed, and a herbicide tank mix of Clomazone at 1.1 kg a.i./ha and s-metolachlor at 0.72-1.1 kg a.i./ha over the bed top at plastic laying. Problems with currently identified alternatives include additional costs for broadcast fumigation and herbicides, increased field maintenance costs, and inadequate efficacy and potential phytotoxicity of herbicides. Also, uncertainty surrounding regulatory issues and registration status of existing and developing alternatives make production planning difficult for growers. Methyl bromide alternative research programs in Florida are concentrating on addressing issues important to growers, and on insuring the future viability of the pepper industry. Areas of research focus on development of alternative application technology, improving performance of existing chemical fumigants, evaluation of existing and new fumigants using virtually impermeable films (VIF), development of new chemical products, and integration of nonchemical strategies into commercial production systems.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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