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​​​Alternatives to Methyl Bromide for Soil-Borne Disease Management

Broadcast ​Date: March 8, 2024

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Webinar Summary

The main problems related to soilborne diseases in crop production around the world include poor crop performance, decreased yield, and increased production costs. Methyl bromide was frequently used to treat these diseases around the world before the Montreal Protocol, a global agreement to protect the ozone layer. The potential for soilborne disease epidemics to have a negative impact on agricultural productivity, the high cost of conventional fungicides, and the methods offered by a system-based approach to more effectively manage soilborne diseases. With the ban on methyl bromide for the management of soil-borne diseases on January 1, 2005, researchers are making efforts to find alternatives to manage soil-borne diseases. After attending the webinar, the audience will be informed about some of the effective soil-borne disease management strategies that have been demonstrated to be effective, with special attention to strawberry production.

In this webinar, the speakers will put forward some sustainable alternative approaches to methyl bromide for soil-borne disease management. The webinar will cover the history of soilborne disease management, anaerobic soil disinfection and biofumigation on strawberry production, and breeding efforts on soilborne diseases in strawberries.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about effective biocontrol crops against soil-borne pathogens and successful breeding approaches for disease resistance.
  • Gain an understanding of alternative approaches to soil-borne disease management after the methyl bromide ban.
  • Explore the actionable insights to adapt alternative methods to their systems.


Shashika Hewavitharana, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Plant Pathologist
California Polytechnic State University​

Gary Vallad, Ph.D
Professor, Plant Pathology
Universit​y of Florida

Vance M. Whitaker, Ph.D.
Professor, Strawberry Breeding
University of Florida

On-Demand Webinar