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Drip application of methyl bromide alternative chemicals for control of soilborne pathogens and weeds

Gerik, James S, Hanson, Bradley D
Pest management science 2011 v.67 no.9 pp. 1129-1133
chemical control, chloropicrin, crops, cut flowers, field experimentation, furfural, growers, industry, metam, methyl bromide, pathogens, pest control, propylene oxide, seeds, sodium azide, soil fumigation, viability, weeds, California
BACKGROUND: Producers of several high‐value crops in California have traditionally used preplant soil fumigation with methyl bromide/chloropicrin combinations. Although methyl bromide has been phased out since 2005, several crop industries, including cut flower producers, have continued methyl bromide use under Critical Use Exemptions, a provision of the Montreal Protocol. This research was conducted to evaluate newer, emerging methyl bromide alternative chemicals. RESULTS: Two field trials were conducted to test several emerging chemicals in combination with metam sodium as replacements for methyl bromide. Emerging chemicals included 2‐bromoethanol, dimethyl disulfide, furfural, propylene oxide and sodium azide. Weed and pathogen populations were measured after chemical application, and seed viability was assessed from weed seed previously buried in the plots. In the first trial, the emerging chemicals did not improve pest control compared with metam sodium alone. However, in the second trial, several of these chemicals did improve the pest control performance of metam sodium. CONCLUSIONS: The emerging alternative chemicals have the potential to provide better control of soilborne pathogens and weeds when used with metam sodium than metam sodium alone. Registration of these materials could provide California growers with a broader choice of tools compared with the limited methyl bromide alternatives now available. Published 2011 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.