Methyl Bromide Alternatives for Control of Root-knot Nematode (Meloidogyne spp.) in Tomato Production in Florida.

Johan Desaeger, Donald W. Dickson, S. J. Locascio


The following work was initiated to determine the scope of application methodology and fumigant combinations for increasing efficacy of 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) and metam sodium for management of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) in Florida. A series of five experiments were set up during spring and fall seasons to evaluate the potential of different fumigants, alone or in combination, in polyethylene film tomato production. The most promising chemical alternatives to methyl bromide, in terms of root-knot nematode management, were the combinations 1,3-D-chloropicrin, chloropicrin-proprietary solvent ,and 1,3-D-metam sodium. Sprayed or injected metam sodium generally provided only short-term nematode management and by harvest nematode infection was not different from the nontreated control. Drip-applied metam sodium gave good nematode management under high nematode pressure, but needs further verification to establish (i) the importance of soil moisture and temperature on treatment efficacy and (ii) whether similar management can be obtained with fewer than three drip tubes. Broadcast applications of 1,3-D showed better efficacy as compared to applications on a preformed raised bed. Fumigation did not increase tomato yields in spring when root-knot nematode pressure was low, but during fall all chemical treatments increased yields three to five-fold, as root-knot nematode was a major yield-limiting factor.

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