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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Alternatives to methyl bromide soil fumigation for vegetable and floriculture production

Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

Title: Anaerobic soil disinfestation for non-chemical weed control in Florida raised-bed vegetable production.

Authors
item Rosskopf, Erin
item Butler, David
item Burelle, Nancy
item Muramoto, J. -
item Shennan, C. -

Submitted to: Weed Science Society of America Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 11, 2011
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: There is an increased interest in non-chemical weed control alternatives to soil fumigation with methyl bromide. One such approach is the use of anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD), which combines the approaches of biological soil disinfestation and soil reduction sterilization. ASD combines heating through soil solarization with brief periods of soil saturation. In Florida, the use of well-composted broiler litter has been employed to increase water holding capacity in sandy soils. Molasses is added as a carbon source to stimulate microbial activity. In a raised bed application of ASD prior to planting of a bell pepper and eggplant double cropping system, control of nutsedge emerging though the plastic at mid-season of the pepper crop was equivalent to methyl bromide. Although variable, weeds emerging through plant holes at mid-season were reduced in all treatments receiving four acre inches of water at the onset of the trial when compared to the untreated check. At pepper harvest there were few significant differences between ASD treatments and the untreated check with regard to nutsedge emerging through the plastic, but all treatments had fewer weeds emerging through the plant holes than the untreated check. At the time of the initiation of the eggplant harvest, all treatments receiving the high water treatment had fewer weeds emerging through plant holes and fewer yellow nutsedge coming through the plastic compared to the untreated check and were statistically similar to the methyl bromide treatment.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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