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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Pacific Area Wide MB Alternatives Program for Cut Flower and Bulb Crops

item Klose, Susanne
item Gerik, James
item Ajwa, Husein
item Wilen, Cheryl

Submitted to: International Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reductions
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/31/2007
Publication Date: 11/1/2007
Citation: Klose, S., Gerik, J.S., Ajwa, H., Wilen, C. 2007. Pacific Area Wide MB Alternatives Program for Cut Flower and Bulb Crops. International Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reductions.

Interpretive Summary: On-farm demonstrations of new pest control practices are an excellent method of extending new information to growers. These projects, together with field days and grower-teaching schools allow growers to see first hand if these new methods will work in their particular system. We propose to use field demonstrations of methyl bromide alternative chemicals and new film technology in a variety of different production systems for growers of cut flowers and bulb crops, and to relay the results of these demonstrations to growers through a series of field days and teaching schools.

Technical Abstract: Producers of cut flowers and ornamental bulbs are highly dependent on pre-plant soil fumigation with methyl bromide/chloropicrin (MB/Pic) for profitable production. Of the total MB consumption by this commodity, about 2/3 are used in open field operations and 1/3 under cover (mainly greenhouses). Alternative fumigants that have shown potential to replace MB/Pic include chloropicrin, 1,3-dichloropropene, iodomethane, and metam sodium, applied alone or in combination through the drip irrigation system. The use of virtually impermeable film (VIF) appeared to further enhance the efficacy of alternative fumigants on soil-borne pests and reduce fumigant emissions. Although some alternative fumigants in combination with novel soil sealing techniques have shown similar efficacy as MB/Pic in some situations, these alternative systems may not be feasible for all species due to the complexity and diversity of this commodity, and the on-farm and greenhouse feasibility of these systems for each of the major species of ornamentals grown in California remains to be demonstrated. Therefore, additional field and greenhouse based demonstration trials are critical to facilitate the transfer of scientific knowledge and technology on feasible MB alternatives to the very diverse and complex floricultural industry in California, and thus, to overcome past constraints for a successful adoption of economically viable alternative fumigation systems by this commodity. The main objective of the proposed project is to facilitate an area-wide shift from pre-plant shank MB/Pic or hot gas (MB/Pic 98/2) application to effective alternative systems for control of key diseases and weeds in open field and greenhouses, respectively, by California cut flower and ornamental bulb producers. Specific objectives of the on-farm demonstration shank and drip trials are: 1. Demonstrate the performance of reduced rates of alternative fumigants and fumigant combinations on marketable yields of major ornamental crops in response to more stringent buffer zone and township cap regulations. 2. Compare performance of reduced rates of shank injected and drip applied alternative fumigants relative to the commercial standard practice. 3. Demonstrate the improved VIF technology (use of suitable glues, maintenance of the integrity of the mulch during field installation) for increased efficacy and reduced emissions of shank injected and drip-applied fumigants relative to conventional (HDPE) mulch. 4. Demonstrate the performance of 1,3-D and Pic (Telone C35 EC) followed by Vapam under VIF on marketable yields of selected ornamental crops under greenhouse conditions relative to the commercial hot gas practice. 5. Conduct field days, floricultural teaching schools and panel discussions with cut flower and ornamental bulb growers, and establish a website with information of the trials to facilitate technology transfer, hands-on training and feedback on alternative fumigation systems between researchers, growers and regulatory agencies.

Last Modified: 07/25/2017
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