Yield and Dry Matter Partitioning of Strawberry Plants Grown with Three Preplant Soil Fumigation Treatments

in HortScience

Three preplant soil fumigation treatments were applied to a strawberry fruit production field in Summer 1993: 1) a mixture of 67 methyl bromide: 33 chloropicrin (wt/wt, 392 kg·ha–1) (MBC); 2) chloropicrin (trichloronitromethane, 336 kg·ha–1) followed by metam sodium (935 liters·ha–1) CMS); and 3) nonfumigation (NF). Bare-rooted `Camarosa' strawberry plants were established in each treatment on 1 Nov. in annual hill culture. Plant mortality was <1%; thus, differences in growth and productivity among treatments were due to sublethal effects of competitive soil organisms. Fruit yields were recorded weekly from 14 Jan. to 23 May 1994. For the NF treatment, early season (January–March), late season (April–May), and total yields were 86%, 69%, and 72%, respectively, of those of the MBC treatment. Early season yields were greatest for the MBC treatment, but late and total yields were greatest for the CMS treatment. From Jan. through May 1994, 20 plants were destructively harvested from each treatment at about monthly intervals for determination of leaf (LDW), crown (CDW), and root dry weight (RDW). For a given date, LDW, CDW, and RDW of plants in the MBC and CMS treatments were greater than those of the NF plants. From January to March, plants in the NF treatment allocated a proportionally greater amount of dry matter to roots, and proportionally less dry matter to crowns and leaves than fumigated plants. In April and May, root: shoot ratios were similar for all three treatments. These data demonstrate the marked influence of soil fumigation treatment on yield and dry matter partitioning of strawberry, and suggest that combinations of chloropicrin and metam sodium may be a viable, albeit expensive, alternative to fumigation with methyl bromide.

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