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Krista C. Shellie and Robert L. Mangan

`Dancy' tangerines (Citrus reticulata Blanco) were harvested after color break and exposed to high-temperature forced air (HTFA) at 45C for 3.5 or 4 h to kill Mexican fruit fly [Anastrepha ludens (Loew)] larvae. Heat-treated and control fruit were stored subsequently for 2 weeks at 4C. Tangerines harvested after color break (naturally degreened) tolerated exposure to HTFA in a similar fashion as tangerines harvested before color break and degreened by postharvest exposure to ethylene. Titratable acidity (TA) was significantly lower after heat treatments. Flavor, soluble solids concentration, external appearance, incidence of decay, percent juice yield, percent weight change, and flavedo color of heat-treated fruit were not different from nonheat-treated, control fruit. Exposure to HTFA is a viable alternative to methyl bromide for disinfestation of `Dancy' tangerine.

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Bielinski M. Santos, James P. Gilreath, Myriam N. Siham, and Camille E. Esmel

In Florida, nutsedge (Cyperus spp.) is a major weed problem in mulched-vegetable production. As methyl bromide (MBr) is phased out, alternatives are essential for growers. However, because of critical use exemptions, growers will still be able to use restricted amounts of MBr. Therefore, using highly-retentive mulch, such as virtually impermeable film (VIF), can reduce fumigant loss and may allow rate reduction without compromising efficacy. Preliminary studies have shown that metalized mulches can be an alternative to VIF. However, further studies are needed to compare MBr retention properties and nutsedge control of high density polyethylene (HDPE) mulch, VIF, and metalized mulch. Two field studies were conducted in spring 2005, in Ruskin, Florida. Metalized and HDPE mulches, and VIF were combined with the following rates of MBr + chloropicrin (Pic) (67/33, w/w): 175 and 350 lb/acre. Methyl bromide retention was evaluated in soil air samples at 1, 2, 4, and 6 days after treatment (DAT). Nutsedge plants were counted at 2, 4, 7, 9, and 12 weeks after treatment (WAT). Data were examined with regression analysis to establish the relationship between the time and both MBr concentration and nutsedge densities. Concentration of MBr + Pic under either the metalized mulch or VIF was about 6 times higher than under HDPE at 5 DAT, regardless of the MBr + Pic rate. At 12 WAT, nutsedge population was <1 plant/50 ft row with metalized and VIF and 175 lb/acre of MBr + Pic, whereas about 25 plants/50 ft row were present with 350 lb/acre of the fumigant and HPDE. The weed population reached >100 plants/50 ft row with 175 lb/acre of MBr + Pic. These findings demonstrate that metalized and VIF mulches can provide effective control of nutsedge with one-half of the commercially used MBr + Pic rate.

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Ryan R.P. Noble, C.S. Charron, and C.E. Sams

The development of alternative methods for control of soilborne pathogens is imperative since the U.S. Clean Air Act bans the use of methyl bromide after 2005. One possibility is to exploit the pesticidal properties of compounds released by macerated Brassica tissues. In this study, masked chaffer beetle larvae were placed in sealed 473-mL jars with 335 g of soil amended with 1%, 2%, 4%, or 8% (g·g–1) Brassica tissue. The most prevalent volatile toxic compound of Brassica juncea (PI 458934) is allyl isothiocyanate (AITC). AITC production was measured in the jars at 0.25, 4, 8, 24, and 48 h using a solid-phase microextraction device (SPME) and gas chromatography. After 7 days, larvae mortality was determined. Control treatments included untreated soil, soil amended with 8% tomato plant tissue, soil amended with pure AITC, and untreated soil with an atmosphere of ≈20% O2 and 0% CO2 changing over 48 h to 2% O2 and 20% CO2. AITC levels were positively correlated to larvae mortality. The estimated lethal concentration for 50% kill (LC50) was 3.6 μg AITC/L soil atmosphere. AITC levels may be influenced by Brassica mass added, soil bulk density, and environmental factors including temperature and moisture. B. juncea has a high tissue AITC concentration. However, the mass of Brassica tissue required for insecticidal application against Cyclocephala sp. is also high, between 4% and 8% of soil mass. Development and selection of Brassica species that produce higher concentrations of isothiocyanate would increase the effectiveness of Brassica biofumigation as an alternative to methyl bromide for controlling soilborne insects.

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S.D. Nelson, C. Riegel, L.H. Allen Jr., D.W. Dickson, J. Gan, S.J. Locascio, and D.J. Mitchell

One of the proposed alternative chemicals for methyl bromide is 1,3-D. The most common forms of 1,3-D products are cis- or trans-isomers of 1,3-D with the fungicidal agent, chloropicrin, containing such mixtures as 65% 1,3-D and 35% chloropicrin (C-35). Soil fumigants are commonly applied under a polyethylene film in Florida raised bed vegetable production. Much of the research regarding cropping system effects of alternative fumigants to methyl bromide has focused primarily on plant growth parameters, with little regard to the atmospheric fate of these chemicals. The objective of this research was to determine both the atmospheric emission of 1,3-D under different plastic film treatments and to evaluate effects of application rates of 1,3-D and C-35 on plant pests, growth, and yield of Sunex 9602 summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.). Results showed that use of a high barrier polyethylene film (or virtually impermeable film - VIF) greatly reduced fumigant emission compared to ground cover with conventional polyethylene films or uncovered soil. Summer squash seedling survival was a severe problem in several of the 1,3-D alone treatments where no fungicidal agent was added, whereas C-35 resulted in excellent disease control at both full and one-half of the recommended application rates for this chemical. Both 1,3-D and C-35 provided good plant stands and higher yields when applied at their recommended application rates. However, all squash yields were lower than typical squash production levels due to late planting and early winter frost kill. Chemical names used: 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D); trichloronitropropene (chloropicrin).

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Theodore Webster and A. Culpepper

Halosulfuron is an alternative to methyl bromide for managing nutsedges (Cyperus spp.) in several vegetable crops. Field studies were conducted to evaluate eggplant growth and yield when halosulfuron was applied through drip-irrigation before transplant at four rates (0, 26, 39, or 52 g·ha–1 a.i.) or following transplant (26 g·ha–1 applied 1, 2, or 3 weeks after transplant) in spring and fall crops in 2002 and 2003. Inverse linear relationships were observed between rate of halosulfuron and eggplant growth and rate of halosulfuron and eggplant yield. Halosulfuron at 52 g·ha–1 reduced eggplant growth (crop height and canopy width) 19% to 22%. Eggplant fruit biomass at the first harvest was reduced 37% to 63% by halosulfuron applied before transplant. Eggplant was capable of recovering from the initial injury and there was no effect of halosulfuron rate on fruit biomass at the final harvest. Total season fruit biomass was reduced ≤4% from halosulfuron at 39 g·ha–1, while halosulfuron at 52 g·ha–1 reduced fruit biomass 33%. Delay in application of halosulfuron to 3 weeks after transplant (WAT) resulted in ≤7% reduction in fruit biomass and number for the entire season. When halosulfuron was applied 1 WAT, fruit biomass at the first two harvests was reduced >33%, however total season harvest from this treatment was >99% of the yield from the nontreated control. This preliminary study indicates that halosulfuron injected through drip tape may have the potential to assist in the replacement of methyl bromide for nutsedge management in eggplant. However, there are many issues that must be addressed and studied before adopting this practice in eggplant.

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Kirk D. Larson, Douglas V. Shaw, and Jerry Sterrett

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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Bielinski M. Santos and James P. Gilreath

The search for methyl bromide (MBr) alternatives has been a vast source of research during the last decade, in which hundreds of trials have been conducted nationwide to examine the efficacy of different soil fumigants on soil-borne pests in

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Roni Cohen*, Yosef Burger, and Menahem Edelstein

The use of grafted vegetables as one of the alternatives to soil disinfestation with methyl bromide is increasing in Israel. Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) and melon (Cucumis melo) plants are grafted mainly onto Cucurbita rootstocks for lessening losses due to soil-borne pathogens. The contribution of the rootstock to the grafted plant's resistance depends on the nature of the disease. In general, damage caused by non-specific root-rot pathogens such as Rhizoctonia solani, Macrophomina phaseolina, Monosporascus cannonballus, and Pythium spp. are effectively reduced by using Cucurbita rootstocks. However, these rootstocks provide only partial protection from vascular diseases such as fusarium wilt, in which case better protection can be achieved by grafting susceptible melons onto monogenic fusarium-resistant melon rootstocks. The performance of the grafted plants depends not only on the rootstock but also on the scion response to pathogens and on the effect of the environment on disease development. The response of grafted and non-grafted melons of different cultivars to sudden wilt disease caused by the fungus Monosporascus cannonballus was evaluated in field trials conducted in the fall and spring growing seasons. Significant differences in disease incidence were found among cultivars, between grafted and non-grafted plants, and between seasons. Grafting reduced plant mortality in the spring and fall experiments but prevention of yield losses was more effective in the spring. More emphasis should be given to finding suitable rootstocks and adjusting agrotechniques for successful commercial cultivation of grafted melons in the fall.

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T.K. Hartz, J.E. DeVay, and C.L. Elmore

Soil solarization, alone and combined with metam sodium (MS), was evaluated as an alternative to methyl bromide and chloropicrin (MBC) fumigation, the standard soil disinfestation technique in the California strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) industry. Tests were conducted in two consecutive annual production cycles in Irvine, Calif., an environment representative of the coastal strawberry production area. Solarization treatments were applied from late July through September for October plantings. Treatments were equally effective in reducing baited populations of Phytophthora cactorum [(Lebert and Cohn) J. Schröt] (1989-90) and P. citricola Sawada (1990-91) when compared to pathogen survival in nontreated soil. Solarization and MBC reduced Verticillium dahliae Kleb inocnlnm in 1989-90, but MBC gave superior control in 1990-91. Solarization significantly controlled annual weeds, but was less effective than MBC. In 1989-90, solarization alone increased strawberry yield 12 % over the yield of nontreated plots; when combined with MS, yield increase was 29%, equivalent to that achieved with MBC fumigation. Treatments were equally effective in increasing yields in the 1990-91 test. Chemical names used: sodium N -methyldithiocarbamate (metam sodium), chloropicrin nitrotrichloromethane (chloropicrin).

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James S. Gerik, Ian D. Greene, Peter Beckman, and Clyde L. Elmore

Two field trials were conducted from 2002 until 2004 to evaluate several chemicals as alternatives to methyl bromide for the production of calla lily (Zantedeschia sp.) rhizomes. Various rates and chemical combinations were tested. The chemicals were applied through a drip irrigation system. The chemicals included iodomethane, chloropicrin, 1,3-dichloropropene, metham, sodium furfural, and sodium azide. None of the treatments reduced the viability of seed of mallow (Malva parviflora) previously buried in the plots. Propagules of nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) and seed of mustard (Brassica nigra) were controlled by iodomethane + chloropicrin, 1,3-dichloropropene + chloropicrin, chloropicrin alone, 1,3-dichloropropene alone, and furfural + metham sodium. Propagules of calla were controlled by all of the treatments except sodium azide and furfural + metham sodium. In the first trial, all treatments reduced the populations of soilborne plant pathogens, including Pythium spp., Phytophthora spp., and Fusarium oxysporum, except for sodium, which did not reduce the population of Phytophthora spp. In the second trial, all treatments controlled Pythium spp. but only a high rate of iodomethane + chloropicrin reduced the population of F. oxysporum. For all treatments, the incidence of disease caused by soilborne pathogens was reduced compared to the nontreated control. The number and value of harvested rhizomes were greater among all of the treatments, except for sodium azide, compared to the control. The harvested value of the crop for the best treatments increased significantly compared to the control. A successful crop of calla rhizomes can be produced by combinations of iodomethane, chloropicrin, 1,3-dichloropropene, and metham sodium.