Navigation Links
Alternatives eyed for methyl bromide
Date:3/16/2011

This release is available in Spanish.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists trying to help Florida growers find a replacement for methyl bromide are studying an alternative soil treatment that uses molasses as one of its ingredients.

Researchers with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are examining whether a cropping system that uses molasses to stimulate microbial activity could be used to replace the popular fumigant. They also are studying recently developed fumigants. The work, presented at the recent Annual International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reductions, supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

Farmers have been using methyl bromide since the 1930s to control a broad spectrum of nematodes, pests and pathogens. But because methyl bromide depletes the earth's stratospheric ozone layer, growers worldwide are being required to find a replacement. That's a tall order in Florida, where the sandy soils limit organic alternatives and the mild winters serve as a safe harbor for many nematodes, weeds and pathogens.

ARS scientists Erin Rosskopf and Nancy Kokalis-Burelle and former ARS research associate David Butler raised bell peppers and eggplant at the agency's U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, Fla., to test a combination of composted broiler litter, molasses and anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD). In ASD, topsoil is saturated with water and covered with a plastic tarp. Then, a carbon source-in this case molasses-is added to stimulate microbial activity.

The sun-drenched tarp "cooks" the weed seeds in the soil, and the carbon and water increase microbial activity, creating conditions conducive to pest control. As part of the project, ARS scientists Greg McCollum and Joseph Albano, who are also with the Fort Pierce lab, evaluated fruit quality and soil and plant nutrients.

The researchers heated the soil via solarization and treated plots with different levels of the organic materials and different amounts of water. The molasses used was a waste product of the sugar cane processing industry. They planted peppers in the fall and eggplant in the spring, sampled the soil for nematodes, counted nematodes on crop roots, assessed weed populations and soil properties and measured crop yields.

The scientists found nematode populations were reduced when treated with molasses and poultry litter, that molasses and poultry litter controlled grass weeds just as well as methyl bromide, and that the solarized treatments heated the soil to levels that were at or just below levels that are lethal for many soil pathogens.

The researchers also are comparing two recently developed fumigants, dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) and methyl iodide, with methyl bromide at two sites, one where they raised delphiniums and the other with caladiums. Preliminary results show the alternatives are just as effective as methyl bromide at suppressing grass weeds and controlling nematodes, but their overall effectiveness depended on the type of cultivar produced.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dennis O'Brien
dennis.obrien@ars.usda.gov
301-504-1624
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Research proves new soybean meal sources are good fish meal alternatives
2. Atrazine is the main weapon against weeds in sweet corn, with few alternatives
3. Mineral studies advance antibacterial alternatives
4. Europe seeks alternatives to natural latex from Asia
5. Methyl bromide alternatives for California strawberry nurseries
6. Methyl bromide alternatives indicated for North Carolina tomato production
7. Parasite-resistant peppers green alternatives to chemical pesticides
8. New test measures DNA methylation levels to predict colon cancer
9. Mechanism behind demethylation pinpointed in APC gene mutants
10. UCLA stem cell researchers uncover previously unknown patterns in DNA methylation
11. Epigentek Develops a New Method of Measuring Global DNA Methylation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... RESTON, Va. , Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... contract award from the U.S. Army Research Office ... extend the range and sensitivity of the company,s ... DoD,s Past Accounting Mission and, more generally, defense-related ... its DNA phenotyping capabilities (predicting appearance and ancestry ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... NEW YORK , Feb. 1, 2016  Today, ... Heart Association (AHA) announced plans to develop a first ... cognitive computing power of IBM Watson. In the first ... disease, AHA, IBM (NYSE: IBM ), and Welltok ... metrics and health assessments with cognitive analytics, delivered on ...
(Date:1/27/2016)... 2016  Rite Track, Inc. a leading semiconductor equipment ... Chester, Ohio announced today the acquisition of PLUS ... in Austin, Texas , will significantly ... modifications, installations and technical support offerings for TEL Track ... commented, "PLUS has provided world class service including refurbishment, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... , February 12, 2016 ... Efforts by Enabling Scientific Understanding of Complex Diseases ... Rare Diseases --> ... diagnostics in South Asia and a leading provider of ... contribute $10 million to the GenomeAsia 100K consortium ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Germany and GERMANTOWN, ... QGEN ; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced ... RNA Panels for gene expression profiling, expanding QIAGEN,s portfolio ... The panels enable researchers to select from over 20,000 ... and discover interactions between genes, cellular phenotypes and disease ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... cutting-edge information focused on the development and manufacture of biopharmaceuticals and therapeutics, ... sponsor of the 2016 BioProcess International Awards – Recognizing Excellence in the ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... than 150 years, continues today to pursue the highest level of accuracy and ... instruments: the AR9 Refractometer and the AR5 Refractometer. Accurate, reliable and tough ...
Breaking Biology Technology: