Managing Nutsedge and Stunt Nematode in Pepper with Reduced Methyl Bromide plus Chloropicrin Rates under Virtually Impermeable Films

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  • 1 Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, University of Florida, 5007 60th St. E., Bradenton, FL 34203.

Two field trials were conducted 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 bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) crop yield. A split-plot design with six replications was established, with MBr + Pic rates in the main plots and mulch types as subplots. 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.

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