Submitted to: California Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/13/2012
Publication Date: 8/1/2013
Citation: Fennimore, S.A., Serohijos, R., Samtani, J., Ajwa, H.A., Subbarao, K., Martin, F.N., Daugovish, O., Legard, D., Browne, G.T., Muramoto, J., Shennan, C., Klonsky, K. 2013. Methods to facilitate the adoption of alternatives to methyl bromide soil fumigation by California strawberry growers. California Agriculture. 67:139-146. Interpretive Summary: This manuscript reviews the research efforts of the past 5 years to on production practices for strawberry that are alternatives to methyl bromide preplant soil fumigation. The work reported includes alternative fumigants and barrier films as well as nonfumigant methods.
Technical Abstract: The goal of this project is to facilitate the adoption of strawberry production systems that do not use methyl bromide (MB). The five year project initially focused on fumigant alternatives to MB. The project has resulted in increased use of barrier films that reduce fumigant emission. The focus shifted in year 3 to evaluation and demonstration of nonfumigant alternatives to MB. Nonfumigant production methods evaluated were: soilless production, biofumigation, anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) and disinfestation with steam. Strawberry production on soilless media such as peat or coir requires careful water and nutrient management. However, in the 2010-11 strawberry production season fruit yields on substrates were comparable to fruit yields using conventional methods. Additional work was conducted to demonstrate non-fumigant methods to control key soil pests by ASD, steam, as well as biofumigants. ASD and steam were found to produce fruit yields that were comparable to those produced on fumigated soils. Additional work is in progress to evaluate their efficacy in larger scale production systems in different strawberry production districts in California.