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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: AN ARS AREAWIDE PEST MANAGEMENT (AWPM)PROGRAM FOR METHYL BROMIDE ALTERNATIVES

Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

Title: Methyl Bromide Alternatives for California Strawberry Nurseries

Authors
item Fennimore, Steve - UNIV OF CALIF, DAVIS
item Duniway, John - UNIV OF CALIF, DAVIS
item Browne, Greg
item Martin, Frank
item Ajwa, Husein - UNIV OF CALIF, DAVIS
item Westerdahl, Becky - UNIV OF CALIF, DAVIS
item Goodhue, Rachel - UNIV OF CALIF, DAVIS
item Haar, Milton - UNIV OF MINNESOTA
item Winterbottom, Christopher - SIERRA CASCADE NURSERY

Submitted to: California Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2008
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Citation: Fennimore, S.A., Duniway, J.M., Browne, G.T., Martin, F.N., Ajwa, H.A., Westerdahl, B.B., Goodhue, R.E., Haar, M., Winterbottom, C.Q. 2008. Methyl bromide alternatives for california strawberry nurseries. California Agriculture. April-June 2008:62-67

Interpretive Summary: The effects of methyl bromide (MB) alternative fumigants on soil pests, plant productivity in nursery and fruiting fields, as well as production costs, were evaluated in California strawberry nurseries by an interdisciplinary team. Our trials followed nursery stock through low and high elevation phases of propagation at nurseries and a complete cycle of fruit production in coastal fields; at each step the soils were treated with alternatives to MB. The locations included a low elevation nursery at Ballico, CA a high elevation nursery at Macdoel, CA., and fruiting fields near Oxnard and Watsonville, CA. Chemicals tested were iodomethane plus chloropicrin, 1,3-dichloropropene plus chloropicrin followed by dazomet, and chloropicrin followed by dazomet, compared to the standard MB plus chloropicrin. Plant yields from the nurseries and fruit yields from Oxnard and Watsonville indicate that plots treated with iodomethane plus chloropicrin, 1,3-dichloropropene followed by dazomet and chloropicrin followed by dazomet, produced runner plant yields that were similar to MB plus chloropicrin. Economic analysis, however suggests that nursery profitability may suffer from the loss of MB. Even if yields and weeding times are similar, differences in treatment costs will affect profitability. If strawberry nurseries in other countries are able to continue MB plus chloropicrin use while U.S. strawberry nurseries must move to alternative treatments, then U.S. producers may become less internationally competitive. Since roughly 40% of California’s strawberry runner plant production is sold outside of California (CSC 1999), this could significantly affect producers.

Technical Abstract: The effects of methyl bromide (MB) alternative fumigants on soil pests, plant productivity in nursery and fruiting fields, as well as production costs, were evaluated in California strawberry nurseries by an interdisciplinary team. Our trials followed nursery stock through low and high elevation phases of propagation at nurseries and a complete cycle of fruit production in coastal fields; at each step the soils were treated with alternatives to MB. The locations included a low elevation nursery at Ballico, CA a high elevation nursery at Macdoel, CA., and fruiting fields near Oxnard and Watsonville, CA. Chemicals tested were iodomethane plus chloropicrin, 1,3-dichloropropene plus chloropicrin followed by dazomet, and chloropicrin followed by dazomet, compared to the standard MB plus chloropicrin. Plant yields from the nurseries and fruit yields from Oxnard and Watsonville indicate that plots treated with iodomethane plus chloropicrin, 1,3-dichloropropene followed by dazomet and chloropicrin followed by dazomet, produced runner plant yields that were similar to MB plus chloropicrin. Economic analysis, however suggests that nursery profitability may suffer from the loss of MB. Even if yields and weeding times are similar, differences in treatment costs will affect profitability. If strawberry nurseries in other countries are able to continue MB plus chloropicrin use while U.S. strawberry nurseries must move to alternative treatments, then U.S. producers may become less internationally competitive. Since roughly 40% of California’s strawberry runner plant production is sold outside of California (CSC 1999), this could significantly affect producers.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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