Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research2011 Annual Report
1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Develop and implement a coordinated regional extension and education program to advance the implementation of alternatives to methyl bromide. The objectives will be carried out by: 1. Developing a website for the South Atlantic component USDA, ARS Area-Wide Pest Management Project for Methyl Bromide Alternatives that will serve as a direct source of information on alternatives to methyl bromide for growers, industry professionals and the general public. 2. Developing a written document to serve as an information/decision making matrix for the selection and implementation of alternatives to methyl bromide. 3. Coordinating the exchange of information regarding field days, meetings, and professional in-service trainings for county extension faculty.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Wide-spread adoption of methyl bromide alternatives in the South Atlantic Area is hindered by the lack of education and training of growers and industry professionals regarding instances where alternatives have been successfully integrated into commercial agricultural production systems. This cooperative project will initiate a coordinated, regional effort to further the adoption of alternatives to methyl bromide in the South Atlantic Area.
3. Progress Report
This project is related to inhouse objective: To demonstrate and optimize alternatives to MB for management of soilborne pests in the major agricultural production systems currently dependent upon the fumigant. Work was initiated to create an educational platform to assist growers, industry representatives, state regulators and other stakeholders with new Fumigant Reregistration and Eligibility requirement issued by the USEPA. A soil fumigation manual was created. The manual contains information as it relates to the new soil fumigation regulations, methods for proper soil fumigant application that maximize safety and efficacy including equipment calibration and safety procedures. The manual will be available to all states in the South Atlantic regions for training. A set of 10 Power Point presentations was created to integrate with the soil fumigation manual. Presentations are being developed to facilitate state cooperative extension trainings for stakeholders on the new fumigant regulations and will be tailored to provide continued education credits for those states that add or update their pesticide licensing to include a soil fumigation category. A set of 11 on-line interactive training modules were created as a stand-alone training aid. The modules are linked to a database housed on the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences (IFAS) Extension server to allow traceability of certification to meet the requirements of EPA on determination of proper training. Beta testing of the completed training modules were conducted in stakeholder workshops held in Labelle, Immokalee, Boynton Beach and Balm Florida. Production and editing of the fumigant training modules is being conducted in conjunction with the University of Florida, IFAS Editorial Staff. Field experiments were conducted at the University of Florida, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm Florida comparing individual and combined components of a 3-way fumigation method. Six different fumigant options were applied under various types of impermeable plastic films. Damage from soilborne pests and marketable yield data of tomato and pepper was collected. A second (double) crop of cucumber planted into the existing production beds was evaluated for pest damage and marketable yields. Workshops on methyl bromide alternatives were conducted in Balm, Immokalee, LaBelle and Boynton Beach Florida for growers, consultants and industry professionals. Progress reports of research were made at vegetable industry meetings and tradeshows.