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Free access

Steven A. Fennimore, Milton J. Haar, Rachael E. Goodhue, and Christopher Q. Winterbottom

Methyl bromide alternative fumigants were evaluated for weed control efficacy in low- and high-elevation strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa L.) runner plant nurseries. Preplant soil fumigation treatments of methyl bromide plus chloropicrin (MBPic), iodomethane plus chloropicrin (IMPic), 1,3-dichloropropene plus chloropicrin mixture followed by (fb) dazomet, chloropicrin fb dazomet, and a nonfumigated control were evaluated at three California strawberry runner plant nurseries through two production cycles. Fumigant efficacy was measured by weed seed viability bioassays, weed density counts, and time of handweeding. Generally, all alternative fumigant treatments controlled weeds at levels comparable to MBPic. All fumigant treatments, including MBPic, killed more than 95% of common knotweed, common purslane, common chickweed, and strawberry seed. Iodomethane, chloropicrin fb dazomet, and 1,3-dichloropropene plus chloropicrin mixture fb dazomet controlled carpetweed, common lambsquarters, hairy nightshade, palmer amaranth, and prostrate spurge. Handweeding inputs for all fumigants were similar to MBPic at three of four locations. The exception was at the low-elevation nursery in 2000 where handweeding times with MBPic were lower than for IMPic. Treatment and handweeding costs were calculated. The handweeding costs for all treatments were approximately the same. However, the higher iodomethane material cost resulted in a substantially higher treatment cost.

Free access

Edmund J. Ogbuchiekwe, Milton E. McGiffen Jr., Joe Nunez, and Steven A. Fennimore

Preemergent and postemergent herbicides were evaluated in the Mediterranean climate of the southern San Joaquin Valley and the desert climate of the Imperial Valley from 1998 through 2000. Sixteen herbicide treatments were applied both as preemergence (PRE) and postemergence (POST) applications to carrot (Daucus carota L.). Carrot was generally more tolerant to PRE herbicide applications than to POST applications. Carrot was tolerant to PRE and POST imazamox and triflusulfuron at both locations. Carrot root losses due to herbicide were consistent with visual ratings. Treatments that injured carrot tops early in the growing season did not always reduce yield at the end of the season. PRE applications of imazamox and triflusulfuron did not affect carrot tops or the number or weight of marketable carrots. Carrots grown in the Imperial Valley and in the San Joaquin Valley were tolerant to PRE applications of carfentrazone, sulfentrazone, and imazamox. Results were similar for POST applications, although carfentrazone slightly injured carrot roots. PRE application of herbicides increased forked roots more than POST. Chemical names used: α, 2-dichloro-5-[4-(difluoromethyl)-4,5-dihydro-3-methyl-5-oxo-1H-1, 2,4-triazol-1-yl]-4-fluorobenzenepropanoic acid (carfentrazone); N-[2,4-dichloro-5-[4-(difluoromethyl)-4,5-dihydro-3-methyl-5-oxo-1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-yl]phenyl]me thanesulfonamide (sulfentrazone); N-(2 carbomethoxy-6-chlorophenyl)-5-ethoxy-7-fluoro (1,2,4) triazolo-[1, 5-c] pyrimidine-2-sulfonamide (cloransulam-methyl); 2-chloro-N-[(1-methyl-2-methoxy)ethyl]-N-(2,4-dimethyl-thein-3-yl)-acetamide (dimethenamid); (2-[4,5-dihydro-4-methyl-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2-yl]-5-(methoxymethyl)-3-pyridinecarboxylic acid) (imazamox); 3-chloro-5-[[[[(4,6-dimethoxy-2-pyrimidinyl) amino] carbonyl] amino] sulfonyl]-1-methyl-1H-pyrazole-4-carboxylic acid (halosulfuron); N-[[(4,6-dimethoxy-2-pyrimidinyl)amino]carbonyl]-3-(ethylsulfonyl)-2-pyridinesulfonamide (rimsulfuron); (methyl 2[[[[[4-(dimethylamino)-6-[2,2,2-trifluoroethoxy)-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl] amino] carbonyl] amino] sulfonyl]-3-methylbenzoate) (triflusulfuron).

Free access

Steven A. Fennimore, Frank N. Martin, Thomas C. Miller, Janet C. Broome, Nathan Dorn, and Ian Greene

Steam-disinfestation of soil as an alternative to chemical fumigation was investigated in both research and commercial strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) production field trials at four sites over 2 years (2011–13) using new prototype commercial application equipment: a tractor-drawn device that physically mixed the steam with the soil as it passed through the shaped planting beds. Results included significant suppression of weeds and soilborne pathogens equal to commercial chemigation of chloropicrin with 1,3-dichloropropene (Pic-Clor 60). Also, the combination of steam treatment with soil amendments of mustard seed meal (MSM; two of four trials included treatment), a fertilizer and source of additional organic matter, showed very favorable strawberry production in terms of yield as well as weed and pathogen control. Soil nitrogen-containing ions were monitored at two of the sites and the MSM treatment significantly elevated available soil nitrates by the time of transplanting as did the steam treatment alone, but only significantly at one of the sites.

Open access

Nelly Guerra, Steven A. Fennimore, Mark C. Siemens, and Rachael E. Goodhue

Steam injected into the soil, raising soil temperatures to >70 °C for 15 to 20 minutes, will control weed seed and soilborne pathogens. The effect of this reduction in the weed seedbank viability results in weed control in the treated zone that can persist for several weeks or months. The effect of steam pasteurization of soil on weed seeds produces results similar to a preemergence herbicide. In our study, steam was applied to the soil to control weed seed and propagules of Sclerotinia minor and Pythium spp. Replicated field trials in carrot, lettuce, and spinach were conducted using two types of band steam applicators in 2020 and 2021. Data collected were soil temperatures after steam application, weed control, hand weeding times, diseased plant counts, pathogen populations in the soil, and crop yields. Post-steam soil temperature intervals >70 °C in the top 10 cm of the soil ranged from 67 to 176 minutes. Steam reduced weed densities by 64% to 100% and lowered hand weeding times by 23% to 91%. The reduction of S. minor sclerotia propagules after steaming was 69% to 95% compared with the no steam control. The percentage of lettuce plants infected with lettuce drop was reduced by 60% to 70% and the reduction of Pythium spp. propagules in the soil was reduced by 50% to 100% compared with the no steam control, respectively. Lettuce head diameters in steamed soils were 10% to 24% larger compared with the no steam control. Carrots grown in the steam-treated soil had a 10% greater root diameter than the no steam control. Steam increased lettuce yields in two of three trials 22% to 28% compared with the no steam control. Gross revenues for the steam-treated lettuce were $3231/ha higher than in the no steam control. The data suggest that band steam is a viable soil pest control treatment for vegetable crops.

Open access

Mark Hoffmann, Husein A. Ajwa, Becky B. Westerdahl, Steven T. Koike, Mike Stanghellini, Cheryl Wilen, and Steven A. Fennimore

Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) is a glucosinolate produced in cruciferous plant species. AITC is known to act as a pesticide on microorganisms, insects, and weeds. Synthetic AITC is registered as a biopesticide for agricultural soil treatment use in the United States and elsewhere in the world. Although a potent pesticide, reports on the weed and pathogen control efficacy of synthetic AITC applied as soil disinfectant are highly variable. Due to the low vapor pressure of AITC, questions remain as to whether pest and weed control efficacy can be improved by combining it with other chemicals. The objective of this study was to assess the control efficacy of AITC stand-alone applications vs. applications, in which AITC was combined with the standard-fumigants chloropicrin, 1,3-dichloropicrin, and methyl isothiocyanate. Two shank-applied on-farm field trials were conducted in cut flower [delphinium (Delphinium elatum), ranunculus (Ranunculus asiaticus)] fields, and two drip tape applied field trials in strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) fields in California. Weed pressure, weed seed viability, nematode survival, and pathogen survival of Pythium ultimum, fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum), and verticillium wilt (Verticillium dahliae) were assessed. Cumulative yearly yield of marketable fruit was assessed in the strawberry field trials. The results of this study show that the use of AITC as a stand-alone treatment provided no consistent weed or pathogen control efficacy. However, our results also indicate that shank and drip applied multitactic fumigation approaches with AITC can efficiently control soil-borne diseases and weeds. These findings have potential implications, especially in those areas where certain fumigants are restricted due to regulations and/or availability.

Free access

Jayesh B. Samtani, Celeste Gilbert, J. Ben Weber, Krishna V. Subbarao, Rachael E. Goodhue, and Steven A. Fennimore

The phase-out of methyl bromide as a soil fumigant for strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa, Duch.) and increasingly strict regulations of all fumigants suggest that non-fumigant methods of soil disinfestation are needed. In warm climates, solarization controls soilborne pests, but fog and lower summer soil temperatures in coastal California render it unsuitable for pest control relative to chemical fumigation. The first objective of this study was to test the efficacy of steam in controlling soil pests in strawberry production. The second objective was to determine if combining solarization with steam in coastal California would achieve greater pest control and higher yields compared with steam or solarization used alone. The final objective was to determine the economic feasibility of steam and solarization treatments relative to MBPic fumigation. Field studies were conducted at Salinas, CA, in 2007–2008 and in 2008–2009 growing seasons. Treatments included MBPic 67/33% v/v at 392 kg·ha−1, untreated control, solarization, steam, and steam + solarization. For steam + solarization plots, beds were solarized for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after steam application. Before application of a clear film for solarization, beds were irrigated so the soil moisture was optimal for solarization. Steam was injected into the beds to reach soil temperatures to 70°C or higher up to a depth of 25 cm for 20 min. Soil temperatures during steam and solarization treatments were monitored. Control of soil pests was measured using pathogen and weed propagule bioassays in all treatments. After the 4-week treatment period, ‘Albion’ strawberry was transplanted in all plots. After transplanting, weed density, weed fresh biomass, and hand weeding time were recorded periodically in each treatment over the cropping season. Weed seed viability in steam and steam + solarization-treated plots was the same or lower than MBPic standard fumigation. Compared with MBPic fumigation, solarization alone was less effective in controlling weeds or reducing the hand-weeding time. Steam and steam + solarization treatments resulted in weed control similar to MBPic fumigation. Only certain steam treatments reduced the number of Verticillium dahliae Kleb. microsclerotia similar to the MBPic fumigation at 15-cm depth with no reductions at greater depths. There were no significant differences among treatments in 2007–2008 with regard to yield, but in 2008–2009, yields from steam treatments were comparable to the MBPic-treated plots. Economic analysis performed for the 2008–2009 season showed that net returns from steam or solarization treatments were less than MBPic treatment.

Full access

Christine M. Rainbolt, Jayesh B. Samtani, Steven A. Fennimore, Celeste A. Gilbert, Krishna V. Subbarao, James S. Gerik, Anil Shrestha, and Bradley D. Hanson

Methyl bromide (MB) has been widely used in California cut-flower production for effective control of a broad range of soil pests, including plant pathogens and weeds. However, MB is an ozone-depleting substance, and its availability to growers is limited according to the Montreal Protocol guidelines. Steam has been suggested as a nonchemical option for preplant soil disinfestation. Five trials were conducted in protected greenhouse structure or open-field cut-flower nurseries in Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties to evaluate the effect of steam application, alone or in combination with solarization, on soilborne plant pathogen populations, weed densities, and crop growth. Several steam application methods were used including steam blanket, spike-hose, buried drip irrigation lines, or drain tile, and these varied among trials. Calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) nursery trials initiated in 2007 and 2008 showed that steam alone or with solarization was similar to or more effective than MB:chloropicrin (MBPic), applied via drip lines, in controlling weeds and Verticillium dahliae at 6-inch depth. Trials conducted in Spring and Fall 2009 in an oriental hybrid lily (Lilium sp.) nursery showed that, 112 days after steam treatment (DAT) in the spring, the steam (spike-hose) treatment had fewer Fusarium oxysporum propagules than the MB treatment. Lily plant growth in the steam-treated plots was similar to MB-treated plots and taller than in control plots. In the fall trial, fewer lily plants emerged by 44 DAT in the untreated control than in steam- and MB-treated plots and steam was not as effective as MB in reducing Pythium populations. In the 2010 sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and bupleurum (Bupleurum griffithii) trial, all steam treatments reduced Pythium and Phytophthora cactorum survival compared with the untreated control plots, whereas weed densities were reduced only in the spike-hose steam-treated plots. These trial studies showed that steam appeared as effective as MB in suppressing pathogens and weeds and improving crop growth in cut-flower nurseries. However, additional information on fuel consumption, treatment time efficiency, and long-term effects of steam treatment on soil health are needed before steam can be recommended as a viable alternative to MB in California cut-flower nurseries.

Free access

Eva García-Méndez, David García-Sinovas, Maximo Becerril, Antońeta De Cal, Paloma Melgarejo, Anselmo Martínez-Treceño, Steven A. Fennimore, Carmen Soria, Juan J. Medina, and Jóse M. López-Aranda

The phase out of methyl bromide (MB) requires effective alternatives for soil disinfestation, particularly in high-elevation strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) nurseries. Methyl bromide alternative fumigants were evaluated over a 3-year period for weed control and runner plant yields at strawberry nurseries in Spain. Two types of field trials were carried out: replicated experiments and commercial-scale field demonstrations. In the replicated experiments, eight fumigant treatments were evaluated each year, including the nonfumigated control and commercial standard methyl bromide plus chloropicrin mixture (MB : Pic) (50 : 50 w/w). Among the treatments evaluated were dazomet, chloropicrin (Pic) alone, metam sodium plus chloropicrin (MS + Pic), 1,3-dichloropropene:chloropicrin (1,3-D : Pic) (61 : 35 w/w), DMDS plus chloropicrin (DMDS + Pic), and propylene oxide. The best alternative fumigant treatments from the replicated experiments were carried forward to the demonstration phase of the project. Treatments such as 1,3-D : Pic (300 kg·ha−1), the combination of metam sodium plus chloropicrin (Pic) (400 to 500 + 150 to 250 kg·ha−1), Pic alone (300 kg·ha−1) as well as dazomet (400 kg·ha−1) controlled weeds at the level of MB : Pic (400 kg·ha−1). Runner plant yields, in soils previously fumigated with alternative fumigants varied, among years, locations, and trial scale, i.e., commercial scale, or small plot. By comparison, runner plant yields in MB : Pic-fumigated soils were consistently high among years, location, and trial scale. Chemical names used are: 1,3-D, 1,3-dichloropropene; MB, methyl bromide; Pic, trichloronitromethane; MS, sodium N-methyldithiocarbamate; DMDS, dimethyl disulphide; dazomet, tetrahydro-3,5-dimethyl-2H-1,3,5-thiadiazine-2-thione; PO, propylene oxide

Free access

Zahangir Kabir, Steven A. Fennimore, John M. Duniway, Frank N. Martin, Gregory T. Browne, Christopher Q. Winterbottom, Husein A. Ajwa, Becky B. Westerdahl, Rachael E. Goodhue, and Milton J. Haar

For years, strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa L.) runner plant nurseries have relied on methyl bromide (MB) fumigation of soil to produce healthy transplants. Methyl bromide, however, has been phased out due to its environmental risks. The potential for alternative fumigants to replace MB was evaluated at low and high elevation strawberry nurseries in California. The alternative fumigant iodomethane plus chloropicrin (IMPic) and a nonfumigated control (NF) were compared to methyl bromide plus chloropicrin (MBPic) at a low elevation nursery (LEN) and at a high elevation nursery (HEN) near Susanville, Calif. At a HEN near Macdoel, Calif., MBPic was compared to alternative fumigants IMPic, 1,3-dichloropropene plus chloropicrin mixture (Telone C35) followed by dazomet, chloropicrin (Pic) followed by dazomet and NF. Plants produced at the LEN were transplanted at the Macdoel HEN to measure the effects of soil fumigant history on plant health and runner plant production. Plants produced at both high elevation nurseries were evaluated for fruit yield and quality at two commercial fruit production sites in soils previously fumigated with MBPic or Pic. Runner plant production at the nurseries was similar in plots fumigated with either MBPic or alternative fumigants. All fumigation treatments had higher runner plant production than plants produced for two production cycles on NF soils. Generally, fruit yields from nursery plants produced on soils fumigated with IMPic, Pic followed by dazomet, or Telone C35 followed by dazomet, were similar to fruit yields from plants produced on MBPic fumigated soils. Overall, our results indicate that preplant soil treatments with IMPic, Pic followed by dazomet, and Telone C35 followed by dazomet, are potential alternatives to MBPic fumigation for strawberry runner plant nurseries. Fruit yields by plants in MBPic and Pic fumigated soils were comparable; however, they were more variable in Pic fumigated soils. Chemical names used: 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), methyl bromide, methyl iodide (iodomethane), trichloronitromethane (chloropicrin), tetrahydro-3, 5-dimethyl-2 H-1,3,5-thiadiazine-2-thione (dazomet).

Open access

Jayesh B. Samtani, Curt R. Rom, Heather Friedrich, Steven A. Fennimore, Chad E. Finn, Andrew Petran, Russell W. Wallace, Marvin P. Pritts, Gina Fernandez, Carlene A. Chase, Chieri Kubota, and Brad Bergefurd

Strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) production practices followed by growers in the United States vary by region. Understanding the challenges, needs, and opportunities in each region is essential to guide research, policy, and marketing strategies for the strawberry industry across the country, and to enable the development of general and region-specific educational and production tools. This review divided the United States into eight distinct geographic regions and an indoor controlled or protected environment production system. Current production systems, markets, cultivars, trends, and future directions for each region are discussed. A common trend across all regions is the increasing use of protected culture strawberry production with both day-neutral and short-day cultivars for season extension to meet consumer demand for year-round availability. All regions experience challenges with pests and obtaining adequate harvest labor. Increasing consumer demand for berries, climate change-induced weather variability, high pesticide use, labor and immigration policies, and land availability impact regional production, thus facilitating the adoption of new technologies such as robotics and network communications to assist with strawberry harvesting in open-field production and production under controlled-environment agriculture and protected culture.