University of California

Methyl bromide alternatives evaluated for California strawberry nurseries


Steven A. Fennimore
John M. Duniway
Greg T. Browne
Frank N. Martin
Husein A. Ajwa
Becky B. Westerdahl
Rachael E. Goodhue
Milton Haar
Christopher Winterbottom

Authors Affiliations

S.A. Fennimore is Associate Extension Specialist, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis; J.M. Duniway is Professor Emeritus, Department of Plant Pathology, UC Davis; G.T. Browne is Research Plant Pathologist, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Davis, Calif; F.N. Martin is Research Plant Pathologist, USDA, Salinas, Calif; H.A. Ajwa is Associate Extension Specialist, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis; B.B. Westerdahl is Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Nematology, UC Davis; R.E. Goodhue is Associate Professor, Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, UC Davis; M. Haar is Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota, Lamberton; C. Winterbottom is Agronomist, Sierra Cascade Nursery, Susanville, Calif.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 62(2):62-67. DOI:10.3733/ca.v062n02p62. April 2008.

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The recent phase-out of the soil fumigant methyl bromide (MB) due to its impact on stratospheric ozone presents a huge challenge to strawberry nursery producers. We evaluated the effectiveness of alternative fumigants on soil pests and plant productivity, as well as production costs in California strawberry nurseries. Our trials followed nursery stock through low- and high-elevation phases of runnerplant propagation and a complete cycle of fruit production in coastal fields. Plant yields from the nurseries and fruit yields from Oxnard and Watsonville indicated that nursery plots treated with iodomethane plus chloropicrin, with 1,3-dichloropropene followed by dazomet, and with chloropicrin followed by dazomet produced runner-plant yields that were similar to methyl bromide plus chloropicrin. However, our economic analysis suggests that nursery profitability may nonetheless suffer from the loss of methyl bromide.


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Fennimore S, Duniway J, Browne G, Martin F, Ajwa H, Westerdahl B, Goodhue R, Haar M, Winterbottom C. 2008. Methyl bromide alternatives evaluated for California strawberry nurseries. Hilgardia 62(2):62-67. DOI:10.3733/ca.v062n02p62
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