Effects of Midas® on Nematodes in Commercial Floriculture Production in Florida
Cut flower producers currently have limited options for nematode control. Four field trials were conducted in 2006 and 2007 to evaluate Midas® (iodomethane:chloropicrin 50:50) for control of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne arenaria) on Celosia argentea var. cristata in a commercial floriculture production field in southeastern Florida. Midas (224 kg/ha) was compared to methyl bromide:chloropicrin (98:2, 224 kg/ha), and an untreated control. Treatments were evaluated for effects on Meloidogyne arenaria J2 and free-living nematodes in soil through each season, and roots at the end of each season. Plant growth and root disease were also assessed. Population levels of nematodes isolated from soil were highly variable in all trials early in the season, and generally rebounded by harvest, sometimes to higher levels in fumigant treatments than in the untreated control. Although population levels of nematodes in soil were not significantly reduced during the growing season, nematodes in roots and galling at the end of the season were consistently reduced with both methyl bromide and Midas compared to the untreated control. Symptoms of phytotoxicity were observed in Midas treatments during the first year and were attributed to Fe toxicity. Fertilization was adjusted during the second year to investigate potential fumigant/fertilizer interactions. Interactions occurred at the end of the fourth trial between methyl bromide and fertilizers with respect to root-knot nematode J2 isolated from roots and galling. Fewer J2 were isolated from roots treated with a higher level of Fe (3.05%) in the form of Fe sucrate, and galling was reduced in methyl bromide treated plots treated with this fertilizer compared to Fe EDTA. Reduced galling was also seen with Midas in Fe sucrate fertilized plots compared to Fe EDTA. This research demonstrates the difficulty of reducing high root-knot nematode population levels in soil in subtropical conditions in production fields that have been repeatedly fumigated. Although soil population density may remain stable, root population density and disease can be reduced.
Celosia argentea; floriculture; iodomethane; methyl bromide; root-knot nematodes; management; Meloidogyne arenaria; Midas