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Chemical Alternatives to Methyl Bromide in Spanish Strawberry Nurseries

February 2004 , Volume 88 , Number  2
Pages  210 - 214

A. De Cal , Department of Plant Protection, SGIT-INIA, 28040 Madrid ; A. Martinez-Treceño , Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación, Madrid ; J. M. Lopez-Aranda , CIFA Málaga, CAP Junta de Andalucía, Churriana, Málaga, Spain ; and P. Melgarejo , Department of Plant Protection, SGIT-INIA, 28040 Madrid

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Accepted for publication 25 September 2003.

Strawberry runners are a high-value cash crop in Spain that requires vigorous transplants free of pathogens. Preplant soil fumigation with methyl bromide, or with mixtures of methyl bromide and chloropicrin, is a standard practice for controlling soilborne diseases. Soil fumigants chloropicrin, 1,3-dichloropropene, dazomet, metam-sodium, metam potassium, and dimethyl disulfide were evaluated in combination with different plastic films as alternatives for methyl bromide soil fumigation of strawberry nurseries. The studies were conducted over a 4-year period, with fumigant applications prior to planting. Verticillium wilt (caused by Verticillium spp.) and crown rot (caused by Phytophthora cactorum) were the main diseases. Chloropicrin, 1,3-dichloropropene, and dazomet compared well with methyl bromide fumigation for control of strawberry nursery diseases. Furthermore, 1,3-dichloropropene and methyl bromide, applied at 50% rate under virtually impermeable film, provided effective disease control in strawberry nurseries. Fumigant effects on fungal soil populations are discussed.

Additional keywords: soilborne plant pathogens, VIF film

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society