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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #353065

Research Project: Integrated Strategies for Managing Pests and Nutrients in Vegetable and Ornamental Production Systems

Location: Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research

Title: Evaluating anaerobic soil disinfestation and other biological soil management strategies for open-field tomato production in Florida

Author
item Paudel, Bodh - University Of Florida
item Di Gioia, Francesco - University Of Florida
item Zhao, Xin - University Of Florida
item Ozores-hampton, Monica - University Of Florida
item Hong, Jason
item Burelle, Nancy
item Pisani, Cristina
item Rosskopf, Erin

Submitted to: Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/10/2018
Publication Date: 11/20/2018
Citation: Paudel, B., Di Gioia, F., Zhao, X., Ozores-Hampton, M., Hong, J.C., Burelle, N.K., Pisani, C.N., Rosskopf, E.N. 2018. Evaluating anaerobic soil disinfestation and other biological soil management strategies for open-field tomato production in Florida. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1742170518000571.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1742170518000571

Interpretive Summary: In the search for alternative practices to chemical soil fumigation (CSF), anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) has proven to be a promising tool for soil-borne pest management and crop production improvement. The ASD treatment with composted poultry litter (CPL) and molasses (M) was identified as an effective approach for a biologically-based soil disinfestation system in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) production in Florida, whereas environmental and food-safety concerns associated with animal manure-based amendments led to the exploration of composted yard waste (CYW) as a potential substitute for CPL in ASD application. Two field trials were conducted to examine the effects of ASD using CYW, CPL, and M compared to a commercially-available microbial amendment system on root-knot nematodes, weeds, fruit yield, and quality of fresh-market tomato. Treatments included ASD with CPL and M (ASD0.5), ASD with M and CYW (CYW1+M) or half CYW rate (CYW0.5+M), Soil Symphony amendment (SSA), CYW alone, and a combination of CYW1+SSA, in comparison with an untreated control and CSF (Pic-Clor 60). The SSA treatment consisted of a pre-plant application of propriety organic amendment mix, chitosan, molasses, and formulated bacteria, and in-season applications of liquid molasses, chitosan, and bacteria. All treatments received 5 cm of initial irrigation except CSF, SSA, and untreated control, while all beds received herbicide application before totally impermeable film (TIF) application. Pest control and tomato fruit yield resulting from using CPL and CYW were comparable to soil fumigation. Additional research is needed to optimize carbon source type and quantity for combination with CYW.

Technical Abstract: In the search for alternative practices to chemical soil fumigation (CSF), anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) has proven to be a promising tool for soil-borne pest management and crop production improvement. The ASD treatment with composted poultry litter (CPL) and molasses (M) was identified as an effective approach for a biologically-based soil disinfestation system in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) production in Florida, whereas environmental and food-safety concerns associated with animal manure-based amendments led to the exploration of composted yard waste (CYW) as a potential substitute for CPL in ASD application. In this study, field trials were conducted in Citra and Immokalee, FL to examine the effects of ASD using CYW, CPL, and M compared to a commercially-available microbial amendment system (SSA) on root-knot nematodes, weeds, fruit yield, and quality of fresh-market tomato. Treatments included ASD with CPL (11 Mg ha-1) and M (6.9 m3 ha-1) (ASD0.5), ASD with M and CYW at 26.9 (CYW1+M) or 13.5 Mg ha-1 (CYW0.5+M), Soil Symphony amendment (SSA), CYW (26.9 Mg ha-1) alone, and a combination of CYW1+SSA, in comparison with an untreated control and CSF (Pic-Clor 60 at 224 kg ha-1). The SSA treatment consisted of a pre-plant application of propriety organic amendment mix (816 kg ha-1), chitosan, molasses, and formulated bacteria, and in-season applications of liquid molasses, chitosan, and bacteria. All treatments received 5 cm of initial irrigation except CSF, SSA, and untreated control, while all beds received herbicide application before totally impermeable film (TIF) application. Cumulative soil anaerobiosis was greater in ASD0.5 compared to all the other treatments. The tomato plant root-knot nematode galling index ratings were significantly lower in CSF, ASD0.5, CYW1+M, and CYW0.5+M than untreated control in Citra. Although CYW1 and SSA alone showed some suppressive effect on weed coverage and root-knot nematodes, their positive impact on crop performance was limited when used alone. ASD0.5, CYW1+M, and CSF had significantly higher marketable and total fruit yields than untreated control in both locations, while CYW0.5+M and CYW1+SSA also showed promising results in the Immokalee trial. In general, few differences in major fruit quality attributes were found. Although using CYW in ASD was not as effective as CPL in creating soil anaerobic conditions, the enhanced crop performance in CYW1+M and CYW0.5+M suggests the potential of using CYW as an alternative source of organic amendment in combination with molasses to achieve benefits similar to those achieved using CPL-based ASD.