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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1219: VII International Symposium on Almonds and Pistachios

Anaerobic soil disinfestation as an alternative to soil fumigation for management of Prunus replant disease: effects on tree growth and yield

Authors:   G.T. Browne, N.J. Ott, A.T. Poret-Peterson, B. Lampinen, S.G. Metcalf, M.A. Yaghmour, B. Holtz, M. Culumber, G. Brar, D. Doll
Keywords:   almond, peach, biosolarization, disease, soilborne, amendments, orchards
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1219.44
Abstract:
Growth and yield of successive almond plantings are suppressed by Prunus replant disease (PRD), a poorly understood soilborne disease complex that can occur even in the absence of phytopathogenic nematodes. Preplant soil fumigation (SF) prevents PRD but is increasingly regulated, so alternatives are needed. In 2013 and 2014, we established ongoing almond orchard replant trials near Parlier, CA to examine anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) as an alternative to SF for control of PRD. After old orchard removal, ASD was implemented in September by incorporation of rice bran to a 15 cm soil depth; rice bran was applied at 12-20 t ha-1, with and without molasses and with and without a preceding cover crop of sudan grass. All ASD-treated areas were covered with clear tarp, immediately drip irrigated with 25 cm water, and irrigated for 0.5-1.0 h (0.2-0.5 cm) per day afterwards. Tarps remained and intermittent irrigation persisted for 6 weeks. All trials included non-treated control and standard fumigation treatments. Compared to the control, SF and ASD treatments with rice bran alone at 20 t ha-1 increased tree growth and yield through growing year 4 significantly and equivalently. ASD can be as effective as SF for preventing PRD and is worthy of further optimization and testing.

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