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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of Solarization and Cowpea Cover Crop on Plant-Parasitic Nematodes, Weeds, and Pepper Yields

Authors
item Saha, Shubin - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
item Wang, Koon-Hui - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
item Mcsorley, Robert - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
item Mcgovern, Robert - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
item Burelle, Nancy

Submitted to: Nematropica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 20, 2010
Publication Date: June 1, 2007
Citation: Saha, S.K., Wang, K., Mcsorley, R., Mcgovern, R.J., Burelle, N.K. 2007. Effect of solarization and cowpea cover crop on plant-parasitic nematodes, weeds, and pepper yields. Nematropica. 37(1)51-63.

Interpretive Summary: Two field experiments with bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) ‘Wizard X3R’ were established (May 2003, 2004) in Marion Co., Florida, U.S.A. The objective was to compare yields, nematode populations, and weeds as impacted by six soil management treatments: cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.)Walp.) summer cover crop (CP), solarization on a raised bed (SB), solarization on a flat surface (SF), cowpea cover crop followed by raised bed solarization (SCP), methyl bromide fumigation (MB), and untreated control (C). Soil samples for nematodes were obtained after all treatments had been applied, just prior to planting, as well as at the end of the season to determine nematode population densities resulting from the various treatments. In 2003, prior to planting ring nematode (Mesocriconema sp.) were most prevalent in C treatment and lowest in SCP and MB (P<0.05). At the end of the season in both 2003 and 2004, the SCP was as effective at suppressing root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne spp.) populations as the MB treatment (P<0.05). In 2004, the SB treatment was also as effective as MB (P<0.05) at suppressing root-knot nematodes. All solarization treatments were effective in suppressing weeds compared to the weed fallow control, and out performed MB (P<0.05) in 2003 when no glyphosate was applied during the summer on MB and C plots. Performance of solarization treatements were equivalent to glyphosate treated MB and C plots in 2004. Pepper yields of U.S. Fancy grade and total fruit weights in 2003 were higher in the SB treatment compared to MB (P<0.05). The SCP treatment also resulted in higher total fruit weight relative to MB (P<0.05). As a result of two hurricanes followed by a Pythium sp. epidemic, the yield differences in 2004 were not as great as those in the previous year. However, the SF treatment resulted in greater total fruits and weight of U.S. #1 grade peppers than MB (P<0.05). These results illustrate that solarization and solarization combined with cowpea cover crops can be potential alternatives to methyl bromide fumigation, performing at least as good the methyl bromide with regard to nematode and weed suppression and overall improvement of yield.

Technical Abstract: Two field experiments with bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) ‘Wizard X3R’ were established (May 2003, 2004) in Marion Co., Florida, U.S.A. The objective was to compare yields, nematode populations, and weeds as impacted by six soil management treatments: cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.)Walp.) summer cover crop (CP), solarization on a raised bed (SB), solarization on a flat surface (SF), cowpea cover crop followed by raised bed solarization (SCP), methyl bromide fumigation (MB), and untreated control (C). Soil samples for nematodes were obtained after all treatments had been applied, just prior to planting, as well as at the end of the season to determine nematode population densities resulting from the various treatments. In 2003, prior to planting ring nematode (Mesocriconema sp.) were most prevalent in C treatment and lowest in SCP and MB (P<0.05). At the end of the season in both 2003 and 2004, the SCP was as effective at suppressing root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne spp.) populations as the MB treatment (P<0.05). In 2004, the SB treatment was also as effective as MB (P<0.05) at suppressing root-knot nematodes. All solarization treatments were effective in suppressing weeds compared to the weed fallow control, and out performed MB (P<0.05) in 2003 when no glyphosate was applied during the summer on MB and C plots. Performance of solarization treatements were equivalent to glyphosate treated MB and C plots in 2004. Pepper yields of U.S. Fancy grade and total fruit weights in 2003 were higher in the SB treatment compared to MB (P<0.05). The SCP treatment also resulted in higher total fruit weight relative to MB (P<0.05). As a result of two hurricanes followed by a Pythium sp. epidemic, the yield differences in 2004 were not as great as those in the previous year. However, the SF treatment resulted in greater total fruits and weight of U.S. #1 grade peppers than MB (P<0.05). These results illustrate that solarization and solarization combined with cowpea cover crops can be potential alternatives to methyl bromide fumigation, performing at least as good the methyl bromide with regard to nematode and weed suppression and overall improvement of yield.

Last Modified: 12/25/2014
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