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- Author or Editor: Ian Greene x
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.
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.