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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Plant Pathology Research » Research » Research Project #422207


Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

Project Number: 0500-00044-031-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 1, 2011
End Date: Sep 30, 2013

The overall goals of the program will be to establish and implement an areawide pest management research and action program for methyl bromide (MB) alternatives which (a) results from a stakeholder partnership and collaboration dedicated to the demonstration and areawide adoption of methyl bromide alternative technologies; (b)demonstrates the positive impacts and advantages of such a program through enhanced grower profits, reduced worker risks, an enhanced environment, and a proven superiority of wide area adoption; and (c) achieves a mature methyl bromide alternatives system so end-users, consultants and other interested parties will be left with an operation program that will meet the overall goals through its widescale adoption. Overall objectives of the program are to demonstrate and optimize alternatives to MB for management of soilborne pests in the major agricultural production systems currently dependent upon the fumigant. In the targeted production systems, it is expected that the AW project will provide and demonstrate integrated alternatives to MB that: a)contribute to sustained economic competiveness, b) result in reduced, acceptable environmental impacts, and c)increase farm worker safety.

1. Demonstrate and evaluate pre-plant alternatives to MB in key crop systems and regions dependent upon the fumigant, particularly by (a) conducting replicated, large-scale field trials focused on MB alternatives in partnership with commercial growers and at locations collectively representing the diversity of the commercial production systems, and (b) In the trials, compare standard treatments with MB to the best available and industry-appropriate alternatives. 2. Collect biological, environmental, chemical, physical, operational, and economic data required for multi-disciplinary assessment of the MB alternatives in each of the key cropping systems and regions; 3. Identify key variables and their critical values responsible for consistent and effective pest control and crop performance with MB alternatives and ultimately use values of the variables prescriptively to adjust and optimize applications of the alternatives; 4. Demonstrate and assess new crop production and emissions management technologies to facilitate acceptance of MB alternatives via demonstrating effectiveness, economic viability and environmentally sound MB alternatives; and 5. Develop and implement regional programs to instruct growers, farm workers, and associated members of the agricultural community on optimized use of MB alternatives.