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Tomato, pepper and cucumber were grown for consecutive years using compost from two North Carolina cities (Lexington and Edenton) and McGill Composts (CMC) sources and CMC amended with Tracoderma 382. Treatments included compost with an untreated control and Telone C-35 (Telone) with and without additional fertilizer. The objective was to evaluate compost influence on yield and pest management. Results showed significant differences between treatments and among years. Cucumber and pepper had higher total and marketable yields in 2005 than in 2004. Although tomato yield was lower in 2005 than in 2004 it was evident that CMC+Telone had a higher marketable and total plant dry weight in both years. Two year data showed that combinations of treatments with CMC and Telone (Telone+fertilizer, CMC+Telone, CMC+T382) produced higher yield for tomato and cucumber. Composts from Lexington and Edenton produced more number 2 grade peppers, but treatments did not differ in total and marketable yield. In general compost treatments with or without amendments showed better results in crop yields than the control. Weed counts by species were determined on all plots. Pepper had the greatest number of weeds relative to cucumber and tomato. Organic amendments seem to increase the action of the compost source in several crops. Combination of treatments may depend on the particular crop.

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Tomato, pepper, and cucumber were grown for consecutive years using compost from two North Carolina cities (Lexington and Edenton) and McGill Composts (CMC) sources and CMC amended with Tracoderma 382. Treatments included compost with an untreated control and Telone C-35 (Telone) with and without additional fertilizer. The objective was to evaluate compost influence on yield and pest management. Results showed significant differences between treatments and among years. Cucumber and pepper had higher total and marketable yields in 2005 than in 2004.

Although tomato yield was lower in 2005 than in 2004 it was evident that CMC+Telone had a higher marketable and total plant dry weight in both years. Two year data showed that combinations of treatments with CMC and Telone (Telone+fertilizer, CMC+Telone, CMC+T382) produced higher yield for tomato and cucumber. Composts from Lexington and Edenton produced more number 2 grade peppers, but treatments did not differ in total and marketable yield. In general compost treatments with or without amendments showed better results in crop yields than the control. Weed counts by species were determined on all plots. Pepper had the greatest number of weeds relative to cucumber and tomato. Organic amendments seem to increase the action of the compost source in several crops. Combination of treatments may depend on the particular crop.

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Compost sources were used to determine long-term influence on common vegetable cropping systems (tomato, pepper, and cucumber). Three sources of Controlled Microbial Compost (CMC) (20 yd3/A) amended with fumigant Telone-C35 (35 gal/A) and Trichoderma-382 [2.5 oz/yd.3 (T-382)] were used during 3 consecutive years. Tomato showed statistic differences (1%) among compost treatments with higher total yields when CMC was combined with Telone-C35 (21%) and T-382 (8.2%). All treatments but Bio-Compost and control presented al least 25% more marketable yield per acre. No differences in fruit size were found for tomato, except for medium-size fruit when Telone C-35 was added. The CMC alone or combined with Telone C-35 and T-382 increased the total plant dry weight at least 18.6%. Pepper crop showed statistic differences with higher number of No. 1 fruit size when CMC was combined with Telone C-35 and T-382. Number of culls per acre decreased for all three compost sources, with no differences from the control. Cucumber yields differed among treatments for total and marketable yields and No.1 size fruit per acre. Best yields were achieved with CMC and when mixed with Telone C-35 and T-382. The lower numbers of culls per acre were found with Bio-Compost and Lexington sources and CMC+T-382. Total plant dry weight was increased in at least 24% when Bio-Compost or CMC compost were used alone or combined with Telone-C35 or T-382. CMC increased root knot nematode soil counts and percentage of root galling, but tended to improve root vigor in cucumbers. It seems that compost sources combined with Telone C-35 or T-382 could improve the cropping management as alternative to methyl bromide. Weed responses will also be discussed.

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Partial budget analysis was used to evaluate soil treatment alternatives to methyl bromide (MeBr) based on their efficacy and cost-effectiveness in the production of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). The analysis was conducted for the mountain tomato production region based on 6 years of field test data collected in Fletcher, NC. Fumigation alternatives evaluated included 61.1% 1,3-dichloropropene + 34.7% chloropicrin (Telone-C35™), 60.8% 1,3-dichloropropene + 33.3% chloropicrin (InLine), 99% chloropicrin (Chlor-o-pic), 94% chloropicrin (TriClor EC), 42% metam sodium (4.26 lb/gal a.i., Vapam), and 50% iodomethane + 50% chloropicrin (Midas). The MeBr formulation was 67% methyl bromide and 33% chloropicrin (Terr-O-Gas). Chloropicrin applied at 15 gal/acre provided the greatest returns with an additional return of $907/acre relative to MeBr. Telone-C35 provided an additional return of $848/acre and drip-applied metam sodium provided an additional return of $137/acre. The return associated with broadcast applied metam sodium was about equal to the estimated return a grower would receive when applying MeBr. Fumigating with a combination of chloropicrin and metam sodium; shank-applied chloropicrin at 8 gal/acre; drip-applied chloropicrin, Midas, or InLine; and the nonfumigated soil treatment all resulted in projected losses of $156/acre, $233/acre, $422/acre, $425/acre, $604/acre, and $2133/acre, respectively, relative to MeBr. Although technical issues currently associated with some of the MeBr alternatives may exist, results indicate that there are economically feasible fumigation alternatives to MeBr for production of tomatoes in North Carolina.

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