U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, 1636 East Alisal St., Salinas, CA 93905
Soil fumigation with methyl bromide plus chloropicrin is used as a preplant treatment to control a broad range of pathogens in high-value annual crop production systems. In California, fumigation is used on approximately 10,125 ha of strawberry production to control pathogens ranging from Verticillium dahliae to root pruning pathogens such as Pythium, Rhizoctonia, or Cylindrocarpon spp. In addition to pathogen control, fumigation also causes an enhanced growth response of the plant and reduces weed pressure. The development of successful, long-term cost effective biocontrol strategies most likely will require the development of an integrated systems approach that incorporates diverse aspects of the crop production system. Although application of single microbial inoculants may provide some level of control for specific production problems, it will be a challenge to provide the broad spectrum of activity needed in production fields.