Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Methyl Bromide Alternatives For California Strawberry Nurseries

Date:
February 17, 2009
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
Since around 1960, methyl bromide (MB) has been the foundation for soil-borne disease and weed control in California strawberries. MB, classified as a Class I stratospheric ozone-depleting chemical, has been phased out since 2005, but is still being used in strawberry production under a critical-use exemption. A research study evaluated the effectiveness and cost efficiency for weed control in lower- and higher-elevation nurseries with MB-alternative fumigants.

Testing alternatives to methyl bromide for controlling disease.
Credit: Photo by Steven A. Fennimore

Since around 1960, methyl bromide (MB) has been the foundation for soilborne disease and weed control in California strawberries. MB, classified as a Class I stratospheric ozone-depleting chemical, has been phased out since 2005, but is still being used in strawberry production under a critical-use exemption.

Strawberry production is important to California's economy; the state leads the U.S. in strawberry production. In 2006, the fruit harvest yielded a value of $1.2 billion, and accounted for 79% of the total U.S. gross sales.

The diversity of climates in California along with the use of this fumigant, permits the production of high-quality runner plants, which are propagated in virus-free growing facilities called "screenhouses". Plants are reared first in a low-elevation facility during the warm early season, and then moved to higher-elevation facilities for cool, late-summer conditions. This process ensures that strawberry plants will be ready to transplant into fruit fields by early fall.

A research study published in the American Society for Horticultural Science journal HortScience evaluated the effectiveness and cost efficiency for weed control in lower- and higher-elevation nurseries with MB-alternative fumigants.

Researchers Steven A. Fennimore, Milton J. Haar, Rachael E. Goodhue, and Christopher Q.Winterbottom noted that weed control in strawberry nurseries is more difficult than in fruiting fields. "Because weed control methods such as mulches used in fruit fields can't be used in nurseries, fumigants are one of the most important weed control tools available for strawberry nursery fields", the team explained.

Assessing weed control in the study consisted of three methods: weed seed viability, weed density counts, and timing of hand-weeding inputs by crews. Strawberry and weed seed samples were treated with the alternative fumigants to determine the potential for strawberry and weed seed to survive in the nursery fields. Fumigant effectiveness was studied in fields treated with the combination of MB plus Pic, iodomethane (IM) plus Pic, and control fields. Additional treatments tested were 1,3-dicloropropane (1,3-D) plus Pic followed by dazomet, and Pic followed by dazomet. Overall, there were few to no differences in weed control between IMPic, 1,3-D Pic followed by dazomet, Pic followed by dazomet, and MBPic. Relative to the control fields, hand-weeding times were reduced in all fields that had been fumigated.

The main difference between fumigating with the different methods was material cost. The researchers explained that, because current prices were used to calculate hand weeding and treatment costs, these prices will change over time and may become more equitable given different circumstances.

The study results showed that that fumigating with MB is currently much cheaper than using IM. On the basis of weed control, all of the alternative fumigant treatments were acceptable replacements for MB.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Fennimore, Steven A., Haar, Milton J., Goodhue, Rachael E., Winterbottom, Christopher Q. Weed Control in Strawberry Runner Plant Nurseries with Methyl Bromide Alternative Fumigants. HortScience, 2008 43: 1495-1500 [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Methyl Bromide Alternatives For California Strawberry Nurseries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090217141432.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2009, February 17). Methyl Bromide Alternatives For California Strawberry Nurseries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090217141432.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Methyl Bromide Alternatives For California Strawberry Nurseries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090217141432.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins