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
Aguedilla is a short-day strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) cultivar obtained by the Spanish public breeding program (Agreement CC01-0008-F1). 'Aguedilla' produces excellent extra-early, early, mid-season, and late-season large-sized, wedge-shaped fruit, and a low percentage of second quality fruit. An agronomic and sensorial characterization of this new cultivar, in comparison with the well-adapted cultivars 'Camarosa', 'Medina', and 'Ventana', was undertaken during the 2002–03 and 2003–04 crop seasons.