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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Water Management Research » Research » Research Project #424490

Research Project: Improve Fumigation Efficiency for Almond Orchard Replanting

Location: Water Management Research

Project Number: 2034-13000-012-04-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2012
End Date: Jul 1, 2017

1) Demonstrate that the use of totally impermeable film (TIF) tarp can improve fumigant distribution in soil and increase fumigant concentration-time exposure index values for better pest control than standard PE tarp. 2) Evaluate pest control efficacy (including nematodes, pathogens and weeds) under TIF tarp and reduced fumigation rates. 3) Monitor almond tree vigor and growth from different fumigation treatments in fumigated growers’ fields. 4) Analyze the physiological and chemical response of almond trees to soil fumigation. 5) Determine the effective field fumigation rates under TIF tarp with regards to soil-borne pest control and almond tree performance.

This project is planned for about three years and is in combination with an existing CDFA - Specialty Crop Block Grants Program supported project to support travel needs and additional field sampling and monitoring. One field trial will be conducted each year for the first two years in an almond grower’s field that shows significant soil-borne pest pressure or disease problems. The field will be fumigated with alternative fumigants to methyl bromide. Fumigation treatments will include non-fumigated control, and three rates (full, 2/3, and 1/3) of Telone C35 under TIF, plus full rate bare (as a commercial standard control) and standard PE tarped fumigation treatments as comparisons. Gaseous fumigant concentration changes and movement in soil profile will be monitored to determine effective concentration x time (CT) values and correlated with acquired efficacy data. Both soil existing indigenous pests and bioassay bags containing soils infested with nematode, pathogen and weed seed species will be investigated to collect efficacy data. The fumigated field will be planted with almond trees in the following season after fumigation. Tree vigor and growth will be monitored for up to three years. The physiological and chemical response of almond trees to soil fumigation will be evaluated 2-3 times per year after planting. The effective fumigation rates under TIF tarp will be determined based on efficacy data and almond tree performance.