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Summary of methyl bromide alternatives research in Florida strawberries.
J. W. NOLING (1). (1) University of Florida, Lake Alfred, FL, U.S.A.

The primary objective of a 5-year USDA ARS Areawide Pest Management project was to evaluate cultural and chemical alternatives to methyl bromide soil fumigation within Florida strawberry production. Many different fumigants were evaluated individually or in combination with herbicides and compared to methyl bromide. Yields of chemical alternatives were averaged across years and locations and compared to the performance of methyl bromide. Strawberry yields were often near equivalent or higher than yields with methyl bromide when combinations of fumigants such as methyl iodide, chloropicrin, metam sodium or potassium, 1,3-dichloropropene, and dimethyl disulfide were evaluated. Pest control efficacy for the alternative fumigants was generally less than that of methyl bromide and more highly dependent upon application methods and conditions. Unlike methyl bromide, prevailing soil edaphic and climatic conditions before and after fumigant application were important determinants of efficacy and crop response with the alternative chemicals. It is hypothesized that some inconsistency in pest control is unavoidable with alternatives to methyl bromide. The study demonstrated that applications of various preemergent herbicides are needed to effectively broaden the spectrum of weed control and that improved control of plant parasitic nematodes and crop yields are dependent upon the adoption of early crop destruction as an IPM practice.<p><p>Keywords: Nematode, Fruits-Nuts, Strawberry

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