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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Research Project #433018

Research Project: Advancements Towards Precision Fumigation in Strawberry Production

Location: Crop Improvement and Protection Research

Project Number: 2038-22000-019-001-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2017
End Date: Jul 31, 2022

With the phase out of methyl bromide and increased restrictions on alternative fumigants it is becoming more and more difficult for the strawberry grower community to continue with current fumigation practices. Development of techniques that can identify specific regions of the field where pests are present (soilborne pathogens tend to have a more clumped distribution, not a uniform distribution) and technology that will enable application of the fumigant rate necessary for pest control levels that are present will provide a more efficient fumigation with less applied chemicals.

The collaborator in this proposal will coordinate with TriCal (the soil fumigation company for California strawberry production) on development of technology to enable variable rate fumigation of a field. The approach will be to incorporate information on soil type as well as pathogen and weed distribution in the field into digital maps. Zones will then be identified in the field for applications of different rates of fumigants that are needed for effective pest control. Coordination with TriCal will be needed to ensure the digital maps of pest distribution will be compatible with the on board computer system of the fumigation rig to ensure the appropriate rate of application. Coordination with the cooperating grower will also be required for field preparation, pest control, monitoring of strawberry fruit harvest and data collection.