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  • Author or Editor: Katie Jennings x
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Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) is a colorless aliphatic oil that naturally occurs in many plants of the cabbage and mustard family (Brassicaceae). It has antimicrobial activity and is used as pesticide for a variety of applications. However, AITC as a soil disinfectant has exhibited inconsistent weed and pathogen control, mainly because of its higher viscosity and low vapor pressure (5 mmHg at 25 °C). Steam, however, effectively controls soil-borne pathogens if soil temperatures of 65 °C or more are reached for a minimum duration of 30 minutes. We hypothesized that steam applications targeting lower temperatures, when combined with soil-injected AITC, will provide sufficient weed and pathogen control. We further hypothesized that the combination of AITC and steam will lead to higher strawberry yields compared with either of the components on their own. Two strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa cv. Camarosa) trials were conducted during two consecutive seasons (2020–21 and 2021–22). The trials were conducted at the Central Crops Research Station in Clayton, NC, USA, and the Horticulture Research Station in Castle Hayne, NC, USA. Eight treatments and a nontreated control were established in a randomized complete block design (four replicates each). The treatments were Pic-Clor 60, AITC, AITC followed by 60 minutes of steam injection, AITC followed by 30 minutes of steam injection, AITC followed by 10 minutes of steam injection, 60 minutes of steam injection, 30 minutes of steam injection, and 10 minutes of steam injection. Soilborne pathogen control efficacy was assessed using wet Pythium sp. plating assays. Weed control was assessed through weed seed/tuber germination assays. Our results showed that combining ATIC with steam did not reduce weed or pathogen levels or improve yield when compared with AITC alone or Pic-Clor 60. Moreover, treatment comprising steam alone did not provide sufficient control. However, AITC alone controlled weeds and pathogens as effectively as Pic-Clor 60 during both years and both locations of the study. These results showed that AITC alone could be a potential alternative soil disinfectant for Eastern North Carolina strawberry production.

Open Access

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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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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