Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #248947

Title: Managing Nematodes without Methyl Bromide

item Zasada, Inga
item HALBRENDT, J - Pennsylvania State University
item Burelle, Nancy
item LAMONDIA, J - Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
item MCKENRY, M - University Of California
item NOLING, J - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Annual Review of Phytopathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/22/2010
Publication Date: 4/30/2010
Citation: Zasada, I.A., Halbrendt, J.M., Burelle, N.K., Lamondia, J., Mckenry, M.V., Noling, J. 2010. Managing Nematodes without Methyl Bromide. Annual Review of Phytopathology. 48:311-328.

Interpretive Summary: Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic worms that cause ten billion dollars in U.S. crop losses annually. One problem facing growers of high-value crops, including vegetables, ornamentals, tree fruits, grapes, is the loss of the soil fumigant methyl bromide. Methyl bromide was relied upon heavily by these crop production systems because it was very effective in controlling damaging soilborne pests such as weeds, fungi and nematodes. The emphasis of this article is to envision how high-value crop production systems will manage nematodes in the future. It is concluded that alternative management practices, such as genetic resistance, chemicals, and cultural practices, will require a greater understanding of nematode biology to achieve satisfactory results. Specific examples of high-value crop production systems are highlighted to demonstrate the challenges to growers that will be associated with implementing these alternative nematode management practices.

Technical Abstract: Methyl bromide is an effective pre-plant soil fumigant used to control nematodes in many high-input, high-value production systems including vegetables, nurseries, ornamentals, tree fruits, strawberries, and grapes. Because methyl bromide has provided a reliable return on investment for nematode control, many of these commodities have standardized their production practices based on the use of methyl bromide and will be negatively impacted if effective and economical alternatives are not identified. Alternative control measures based on chemicals, genetic resistance and cultural practices will require a greater knowledge of nematode biology to achieve satisfactory results. Here we provide an overview of nematode management practices that we believe will be relied upon heavily in high-value crop production systems in a world without methyl bromide. Included are case studies of high-value crop production systems to demonstrate how nematode management practices other than methyl bromide may be incorporated into these systems.