Soils

Several initiatives related to soil health and mitigation of soilborne diseases have funded research to help growers address critical production issues. An example of these include:

Farming without Fumigants. Soilborne diseases can be crippling for growers, as no effective postplant control exists. University, USDA, and CSC staff conduct research on cultural practices to mitigate soilborne disease to help growers stay profitable and preserve use of fumigant alternatives. 

Use of anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) for soilborne diseases. Anaerobic soil disinfestation is a production method in which a carbon source, such as rice bran or mustard seed meal is used to shift the soil conditions so that they are temporarily anaerobic. 

Although there is on-going research into these mechanisms, ASD appears to be successful in combating only Verticillium wilt at this time. ASD does not appear to work well for those fields that contain Fusarium wilt. Growers should verify what soilborne disease is present with a diagnostic laboratory before using this technique. 

Strawberry field


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