METHYL BROMIDE ALTERNATIVES IN FRESH MARKET TOMATO PRODUCTION

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  • 1 Horticulture Department, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634

Pest management is of primary importance to the vegetable industry in our nation. In recent years producers have undergone much scrutiny concerning their pest control strategies, which often include the use of chemical pesticides. Due to the detrimental effects of many fumigants, growers are being forced to incorporate more environmentally sound agricultural practices while still producing a healthy, marketable commodity. The effects of three different fumigants and reflective mulches on plant growth and development were studied in field-grown, staked tomatoes. Methyl bromide, Telone II, or Telone C-17 were used in fumigation of plots. The establishment of mulch color was done via applications of exterior enamel paint, white or red in color, to the surface of black polyethylene mulch. With the exception of total marketable yields, no interactions existed between mulch color and fumigant. Red mulch and Telone II treatments resulted in the highest total marketable yield. Telone II application increased early marketable yield. White mulch color increased preharvest yield and black mulch color decreased early marketable yield. Low initial populations of nematodes may be the cause for lack of response due to fumigation.

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