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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


item Rosskopf, Erin
item Burelle, Nancy
item Butler, David
item Muramoto, Joji
item Shennan, Carol

Submitted to: Proceedings of Methyl Bromide Alternatives Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/11/2010
Publication Date: 10/15/2010
Citation: Rosskopf, E.N., Burelle, N.K., Butler, D., Muramoto, J., Shennan, C. 2010. DEVELOPMENT OF ANAEROBIC SOIL DISINFESTATION FOR FLORIDA VEGETABLE AND FLOWER PRODUCTION. Proceedings of Methyl Bromide Alternatives Conference. 84:1-2.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) combines biological soil disinfestation (Blok et al., 2000; Goud et al., 2004) and soil reductive sterilization (Shinmura, 2004). The development of an ASD system for Florida incorporated soil solarization with clear plastic with the addition of a labile carbon source and flooding to create elevated soil temperatures and anaerobic soil conditions to stimulate microbial activity. In order to increase the water holding capacity of the sandy Florida soil, composted broiler litter (Boyd Brothers Inc., Branford, FL) was also incorporated into the system, as was the utilization of a local carbon source, heavy blackstrap molasses (Westway Feed Products, Inc., Clewiston, FL). Two years of field trials have been conducted in a bell pepper, eggplant double crop using typical Florida raised-bed vegetable production system. Untreated (UTC) and methyl bromide (MeBr) controls were included in both years. Following ASD treatment, bell peppers (Capsicum annuum) were planted in the fall, followed by an eggplant double crop. Microplot trials were also conducted in two locations using a factorial combination of treatments consisting of composted poultry litter, three levels irrigation, and two types of clear solarization tarp. Inoculum packets of Sclerotium rolfsii and Verticillium albo-atrum, root knot nematode eggs, and seeds of smooth pigweed (250 seeds m-2), large crabgrass (2,000 seeds m-2), and sicklepod (50 seeds m-2) were added to the microplots prior to treatment initiation. In the second year of the field study, the combination of litter and molasses resulted in a much higher redox potential than the solarization alone and overall all ASD treatments were numerically higher than the previous year. Most ASD treatments provided nutsedge control that was significantly better than solarization alone, but was not equivalent to MeBr. Control of grass and broadleaf weeds with all combinations of litter and molasses was excellent when compared to the untreated check and was equivalent to, or better than MeBr. Introduced inoculum of P. capsici was controlled by all of the ASD treatment combinations applied in the field. Root-knot nematodes extracted from soil samples were highest in the non-irrigated treatments and the solarization under all irrigation regimes. In microplot trials, introduced inoculum of S. rolsfii was controlled by treatments that included molasses or composted litter. Inoculum of F. oxysporum was only controlled in plots that received molasses. Demonstration plots of ASD using the combination of clear solarization film, molasses, composted broiler litter, and irrigation of 2” have been established on one research farm, one Master Gardener farm, and three teaching gardens.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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