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Keywords:

  • sulfuryl fluoride;
  • methyl bromide;
  • alternatives;
  • soil disinfestation;
  • Meloidogyne;
  • Fusarium

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Root-knot nematodes and soil-borne diseases constrain the rapid development of protected agriculture in China, especially while phasing out methyl bromide (MB). The fumigant sulfuryl fluoride (SF) is currently used as an alternative to MB for the disinfestation of buildings and post-harvest commodities. Our experiments aimed to evaluate a novel application of SF as a soil fumigant in greenhouses in China.

RESULTS

Dose–response experiments indicated that SF has good efficacy on root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) and moderate activity against Fusarium spp. and weeds (Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop. and Abutilon theophrasti Medicus). The field trials indicates that SF has good efficacy, between 80 and 94%, on Meloidogyne spp., and Fusarium spp. at the rates of 25–50 g m−2 in tomato and cucumber in Beijing and Shandong Province. Marketable yield and plant vigour was not significantly different in SF and MB treatments. SF has lower emissions than MB during the fumigation operation. It is simple to apply, can be used at low temperature, and has a short plant-back time. SF was found to be an economically feasible alternative to MB for nematode control in China.

CONCLUSION

SF can be used as a soil fumigant to control root-knot nematodes and to reduce the levels of key soil pathogens. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry