- Author: Brad Hanson
Happy New Year!
Today I thought I'd attach a poster presentation from the recent 38th Annual Almond Industry Conference. The attached poster has some information on an ongoing research project in which we are testing thermal disinfestation as an alternative to soil fumigation for management of almond replant disease.
This is not especially a weed research project but has become an interesting area of research because of the high economic and environmental costs of soil fumigation. In second and later generation, trees can be affected by a variety of soil pests including fungal and bacterial pathogens, parasitic nematodes, and other yet-to-be-identified pests that can reduce orchard establishment and early productivity. Many of these problems are overcome with preplant soil fumigation as I mentioned in my November 22, 2010 post.
As you can read in the attached poster, we are just getting started with this project and data will be collected for the next several years on the efficacy of our steam auger, economic viability of the treatments, and response of the newly planted almond trees. Even in the best case scenario, we are not envisioning steam treatment of individual tree sites as a complete replacement for fumigants. However, this type of approach may provide a non-fumigant tool for some growers in certain situations - this research is one step towards finding pest management solutions for California farmers.
Best wishes for 2011.