Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/2005
Publication Date: 10/20/2005
Citation: Kabir, Z., Fennimore, S., Duniway, J., Martin, F.N., Browne, G.T., Winterbottom, C., Ajwa, H.A., Westerdahl, B.B., Goodhue, R.E., Haar, M.J. 2005. Alternatives to methyl bromide for strawberry runner plant production. Hortscience. 40(6):1709-1715. Interpretive Summary: This study evaluates the effect of soil treatment with fumigants that have been proposed as alternatives to methyl bromide on strawberry nursery runner plant production and subsequent performance in production fields. The trials included evaluations of Telone, Iodomethane, Chloropicrin and Dazomet. The results of these trials indicated that combinations of Telone or Iodomethane with chloropicrin show promise as an alternative to methyl bromide in nursery production but additional investigations are needed to confirm their efficacy.
Technical Abstract: The availability of healthy strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa L.) plants for fruit production is currently dependent upon fields to ensure that the soil is as pest free as possible. The phase out of MD makes the task of producing healthy plants more difficult for the strawberry nursery industry. Pre-plant soil fumigation treatments of methyl bromide plus chloropicrin (MBPic), iodomethane plus Pic (IMPic), and a nonfumigated control (NF) were evaluated for strawberry runner plant production during two seasons (2000-01 and 2001-02) at a commercial low elevation nursery (LEN) near Ballico, Calif. and one season (2000) at a commercial high elevation nursery (HEN) near Susanville, Calif. Additionally, pre-plant soil treatments with MBPic, IMPic, 1,3-dichloropropene plus Pic mixture (TC35) followed by 9fb) dazomet (DZ), Pic fb DZ and NF were evaluated at a commercial HEN near Macdoel, Calif. (2001 and 2002). Plants produced at the Ballico LEN were transplanted at the Macdoel HEN to measure the effects of soil fumigant history on plant health and runner plant production. At Ballico and Susanville, runner plant yield from soil fumigated with IMPic at 392 to 400 kg ha-1 did not differ from that in soil fumigated with MBPic at 450 kg ha-1, and both treatments yielded more plants than NF plots. Runner plant production at Macdoel in 2001 and 2002 was similar in plots fumigated with either MBPic or alternative fumigants, and all fumigation treatments had higher runner plant production than the Macdole NF plots planted with NF plants from Ballico. Effects of nursery plant fumigant history on fruit production, in soils previously fumigated with MBPic or Pic, was evaluated at Oxnard and Watsonville, Calif. Generally, fruit yields from nursery plants produced on soils fumigated with IMPic, Pic fb DZ or TC35 fb DZ was similar to plants produced on MBPic fumigated soils. Overall, our results indicate that pre-plant soil treatments with IMPic, Pic fb DZ or Tc35 fb DZ are potential alternatives to MBPic fumigation for strawberry runner plant nurseries. Fruit yields from nursery plants grown on Pic fumigated soils in the fruit fields, on the average were comparable to fruit yields from plants grown on MBPic fumigated soils, however, fruit yields were more variable in Pic fumigated soils.