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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GENETIC IMPROVEMENT OF CITRUS Title: Impacts of Alternative Cropping Systems on Fruit Quality: Opportunities for Collaborative Research

Authors
item McCollum, Thomas
item Rosskopf, Erin
item Burelle, Nancy
item Bausher, Michael

Submitted to: Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Methyl bromide (MB) is a soil fumigant that has been critical for the production of vegetable crops, cut flowers, and strawberries in Florida. However, the continued phase-out of soil uses of this broad-spectrum fumigant necessitates the implementation of alternatives for controlling soil borne pests. Significant research efforts continue and have resulted in some effective, environmentally friendly, and sustainable alternatives to MB. For the most part, such research is focused on the effects of MB-alternatives on soil borne pest control and yield of crops of interest, with little attention given to potential effects on product quality. However, it is possible that alternative production practices may have impact on fruit and vegetable quality. Because significant amounts of produce are generated in mid- to large-scale field trials, the opportunity exists for a collaborative research effort to determine if alternative production practices do impact postharvest quality. We have quantified standard fruit quality parameters for tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, cantaloupe melons, and watermelons produced in field trials testing alternative fumigants, transplant grafting, and biologically-based alternative cropping systems as alternatives to MB. Important components of these trials will be presented along with perspectives related to conducting such investigations.

Technical Abstract: Methyl bromide (MB) is a soil fumigant that has been critical for the production of vegetable crops, cut flowers, and strawberries in Florida. However, the continued phase-out of soil uses of this broad-spectrum fumigant necessitates the implementation of alternatives for controlling soil borne pests. Significant research efforts continue and have resulted in some effective, environmentally friendly, and sustainable alternatives to MB. For the most part, such research is focused on the effects of MB-alternatives on soil borne pest control and yield of crops of interest, with little attention given to potential effects on product quality. However, it is possible that alternative production practices may have impact on fruit and vegetable quality. Because significant amounts of produce are generated in mid- to large-scale field trials, the opportunity exists for a collaborative research effort to determine if alternative production practices do impact postharvest quality. We have quantified standard fruit quality parameters for tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, cantaloupe melons, and watermelons produced in field trials testing alternative fumigants, transplant grafting, and biologically-based alternative cropping systems as alternatives to MB. Important components of these trials will be presented along with perspectives related to conducting such investigations.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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