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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

Project Number: 6618-22000-036-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Dec 7, 2007
End Date: Dec 6, 2012

Objective 1: Develop new management strategies for control of pests and pathogens currently controlled by methyl bromide in vegetable and ornamental cropping systems. • Sub-objective 1.A. Evaluate new and alternative chemistries singly and in combinations for their efficacy, spectrum of activity, and feasibility under controlled and field conditions. • Subobjective 1.B. Ascertain the effectiveness of individual and combined biological and cultural pest control tactics on the incidence and severity of soilborne pests under controlled and field conditions. Objective 2: Develop and test novel application technologies and methods for chemical fumigants to optimize their efficacy, reduce their environmental impact, and minimize exposure to workers in the field. Objective 3: Integrate cultural, biological, and chemical control tactics into technically feasible pest management programs for soilborne pests under field conditions.

A rational and sustainable approach to finding viable alternatives to methyl bromide is to utilize integrated pest management (IPM) programs where combinations of tactics are used to maintain economic damage from key pests below a tolerable threshold. Another approach is to redesign production systems minimizing the potential for outbreaks of soilborne pests. Availability of biologically-based pest management tactics must be increased for successful IPM programs for soilborne pests to be implemented. Growers must have the option of choosing tactics that fit the needs and constraints of their individual programs. Deployment of multiple or companion tactics is essential to alleviate selection pressure and manage potential increases in resistant pest populations. Synergistic effects from combinations of pest management tactics need to be determined. Specific research methodology will include combinations of cultural practices, biotechnology, biological, and conventional control methods.

Last Modified: 09/19/2017
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