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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Alternatives to methyl bromide soil fumigation for vegetable and floriculture production

Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

Title: Performance of soil solarization and methyl bromide in sites infested with root-knot nematodes

item Mcsorely, Robert
item Gill, Harsimran
item Hanspetersen, Heidi
item Rosskopf, Erin
item Burelle, Nancy

Submitted to: Pest Management Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/11/2011
Publication Date: 11/1/2011
Citation: Mcsorely, R., Gill, H.K., Hanspetersen, H.N., Rosskopf, E.N., Burelle, N.K. 2011. Performance of soil solarization and methyl bromide in sites infested with root-knot nematodes. Pest Management Science. 124:303-307.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Soil fumigation with methyl bromide has been the principal means of managing soil-borne pest problems on ornamental crops in the United States for many years. Interest in effective alternatives increased during the phase-out of methyl bromide, and will become more acute as existing stocks are depleted. Soil solarization could be a useful component in a nonchemical alternative program, but questions remain about its efficacy relative to methyl bromide. The performance of solarization and methyl bromide were compared in snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus L.) cut flower crops in sites that had a history of problems with root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.). Snapdragon plants exhibited lower levels of galling caused by root-knot nematodes following preplant fumigation with methyl bromide than following solarization. Methyl bromide treatment also resulted in increased plant height early in the season, but crop yield was unaffected, due to variability among plots. Following solarization treatment with drenches of Biophos® did not improve results over solarization alone. Solarization was not as effective as methyl bromide in reducing galling from root-knot nematodes. Although it can be a useful tool in an integrated program that provides a non-chemical alternative to methyl bromide, solarization should be used with caution in sites with heavy pressure from root-knot nematodes.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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