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Evaluation of non-fumigant chemical and biological nematicides for strawberry production in Florida

Watson, Tristan T., Desaeger, Johan A.
Crop protection 2019 v.117 pp. 100-107
1,3-dichloropropene, Belonolaimus longicaudatus, chloropicrin, field experimentation, free-living nematodes, fruit yield, growers, growing season, horticultural crops, integrated pest management, metam, plant establishment, plant parasitic nematodes, potassium, sandy soils, soil fumigation, soil treatment, strawberries, vigor, Florida
In Florida, strawberry is an economically important horticultural crop. Plant-parasitic nematodes present a significant obstacle for strawberry growers in the sandy soils found in this state. Historically, nematodes have been controlled through the application of soil fumigants; however, there is interest in exploring the use of non-fumigant nematicides that can provide similar levels of control and at the same time be more environmentally friendly than fumigants. Using two field experiments, the effects of non-fumigant chemical and biological nematicides on plant vigour and fruit yield, populations of plant-parasitic nematodes, and populations of free-living nematode feeding groups were evaluated. In experiment 1, soil fumigation with metam potassium, as well as all non-fumigant chemical nematicides (fluopyram, fluensulfone, fluazaindolizine) failed to increase plant vigour, fruit yield, or suppress populations of plant-parasitic nematodes. In experiment 2, fluopyram increased fruit yield and suppressed Belonolaimus longicaudatus populations by the end of the growing season. Biological nematicides (Dazitol®, Majestene®, and Nemakill®) did not enhance crop establishment or suppress plant-parasitic nematode populations. Soil fumigation with 1,3-dichloropropene + chloropicrin provided consistent enhancement of plant vigour and fruit yield, as well as suppressed populations of B. longicaudatus; however, populations of free-living nematodes were also reduced. Overall, soil application of fluopyram shows potential to be a component of an integrated pest management strategy for the control of B. longicaudatus populations on strawberry in Florida.