Soil fumigants provide multiple benefits; alternatives give mixed results
Authors AffiliationsMichael V. McKenry is Nematologist/Extension Nematologist, Department of Nematology, UC Riverside; Tom Buzo is Staff Research Associates, Department of Nematology, UC Riverside; Joe Kretsch is Staff Research Associates, Department of Nematology, UC Riverside; Stephanie R. Kaku is Staff Research Associates, Department of Nematology, UC Riverside; Elaine Otomo is Staff Research Associates, Department of Nematology, UC Riverside; Rulon Ashcroft is Lab Assistant, Department of Nematology, UC Riverside; Arthur H. Lange was Extension Weed Scientist (retired), UC Davis; Kathleen Kelley is Farm Advisor, Stanislaus County Cooperative Extension.
Hilgardia 48(3):22-28. DOI:10.3733/ca.v048n03p22. May 1994.
Since the 1950s growers have routinely used soil fumigants such as methyl bromide (MBr) and 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) before replanting orchards and vineyards. Fumigants double plant growth in the early years after replanting and provide several years of nematode relief when resistant rootstocks are unavailable. However, the recent suspension of 1,3-D and the mandated phase-out of methyl bromide by 2001 have clouded the future of fumigant use. To develop alternatives, we must first document the pest control value and plant growth benefit of fumigation. Over the last decade, we have initiated several 2-year field trials in replant sites in the San Joaquin Valley. Our results quantify fumigation benefits and point to the feasibility of some alternatives, including a portable soil drencher.
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