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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Alternatives to MEBR for California Cropping Systems

Location: Water Management Research

Title: Pre-plant soil fumigation with reduced rates under low permeable films for tree nursery production, orchard and vineyard replanting

Authors
item Cabrera, Alfonso -
item Hanson, Bradley -
item Abit, Mary Joy -
item Gerik, James
item Gao, Suduan
item Qin, Ruijun -
item Wang, Dong

Submitted to: California Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2013
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: With the phase-out program of methyl bromide, many nursery tree production systems and orchard and vineyard replanting situations in California require alternative strategies to control pests, pathogens and weeds. To reduce the chemical inputs and retain a high pest control efficacy is of current interest to diminish the fumigation impact on the environment. Therefore, the objective of this investigation was to evaluate the efficacy of reduced rates of a pre-plant soil fumigant under low permeable films. Two field trials were performed in fall of years 2009 and 2010. Soil fumigation with Telone C35 at full (540 lbs/ac), three fourths, half, or one fourth of the full rate, was performed followed by tarping with high density polyethylene (HDPE) or a totally impermeable film (TIF). The efficacy of these treatments against nematodes, pathogens, and weeds was evaluated. All fumigation treatments were highly effective for controlling plant parasitic nematodes and weeds independently on the tarp type used. The reduced rates controlled the soilborne pathogens Pythium ultimum and Verticillium dahliae but not Fusarium spp., and Phytophthora cactorum. Chemical analysis performed at different soil depths demonstrated that TIF increased fumigant concentration in soil compared to HDPE and bare soil when applied at equivalent rates. Further research with different field conditions at a different season of the year are required to fully demonstrate the benefits of reduced rates and low permeable tarp technology.

Technical Abstract: Pre-plant soil fumigation is a common agricultural practice in orchard and vineyard replanting as well as in nursery production of fruit and nut trees in CA. Identification of pest control strategies with low chemical inputs to reduce environmental impact are of interest. Therefore, the objective of this investigation was to evaluate the efficacy of Telone C35 reduced rates under high density polyethylene (HDPE) or a totally impermeable film (TIF) against plant-parasitic nematodes, soilborne pathogens and weeds. Fumigation at full (540 lbs/ac), three fourths, half, or one fourth of the full rate, was highly effective for controlling plant parasitic nematodes and weeds under both HDPE and TIF. The reduced rates performed well against the soilborne pathogens Pythium ultimum and Verticillium dahliae but did not control Fusarium spp., and Phytophthora cactorum. Soil gas evaluations demonstrated that TIF increased fumigant concentration in soil compared to HDPE and bare soil when applied at equivalent rates. Because of large field variations, more data is needed to investigate fumigation rates and efficacy under field conditions with different soil types and fumigants.

Last Modified: 7/23/2014
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