REDUCING METHYL BROMIDE RATES WITH VIRTUALLY IMPERMEABLE FILMS FOR SOILBORNE PEST CONTROL IN BELL PEPPER

in HortScience
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  • 1 Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, University of Florida, 14725 County Road 672, Wimauma, FL 33598; e-mail bmsantos@ifas.ufl.edu

Two field trials were conducted in Bradenton, Fla., to determine the effect of reduced methyl bromide plus chloropicrin (MBr + Pic 67:33 v/v) rates applied under two types of virtually impermeable films (VIF) on nutsedges (Cyperus spp.) and stunt nematode (Tylenchorhynchus spp.) control, and `Capistrano' bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) crop yield. MBr + Pic rates were 0, 88, 175, and 350 lb/acre. Mulch types were low-density polyethylene (LDPE) mulch, Hytibar VIF, and Bromostop VIF. Results showed that there were no differences on weed and nematode control, and bell pepper fruit yield between the two types of VIF. Two exponential models characterized the nutsedge responses to MBr + Pic rates with LDPE mulch and VIF, with weed densities declining as MBr + Pic rates increased. Reducing MBr + Pic rates by one-half (175 lb/acre) under VIF provided similar nutsedge control as the full-rate (350 lb/acre) with LDPE mulch. Similar results were observed with stunt nematode, where the most effective control occurred with VIF. Bell pepper yield with LDPE mulch responded linearly to increased MBr + Pic rates. However, a logarithmic model described the response of pepper yields to the fumigant rates under VIF. The application rate of this fumigant could be effectively reduced to 25% of the commercial rate (350 lb/acre) under either VIF, without causing significant bell pepper yield losses.