to get New Certified Methyl Bromide Alternative
Early next year, the nursery industry will have a new method certified by
the California Department of Food and Agriculture for preparing soil, which is now
sometimes done with methyl bromide. Three scientists at the UC Kearney Agricultural Center
near Parlier UC Integrated Pest Management plant pathologist Jim Stapleton, UC
Riverside nematologist Mike McKenry and UC Davis horticulturist Louise Ferguson
developed a system for solarizing soil in nursery pots. The pots are filled with planting
mix, placed on a pallet and covered with a double layer of clear plastic held up like a
tent by a frame or wire hoops. "The soil gets much hotter than in an open
field," Stapleton said. "In the San Joaquin Valley, the soil temperature can go
higher than 160 degrees." At that temperature, after just 30 minutes, the treatment
is complete. Certification, expected in March 1999, will allow growers to use the method
in the production of nursery plants, which by law must be guaranteed not to harbor
economically important nematodes. For more information contact Stapleton at (559)
646-6536, email@example.com. Tip by Jeannette Warnert,
(559) 225-5611, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Radio Waves Zap Microbes and Soil Bugs
|Researchers at the UC Davis Crocker Nuclear Laboratory have developed two
types of patented technology that are on the verge of commercial development. The first
uses ultraviolet laser technology to zap food-spoiling microorganisms. "The lasers
disrupt the genetic material inside certain microbes, destroying their ability to grow,
reproduce and cause food to rot," said research chemist Manuel Lagunas-Solar. A
working prototype should be in place in a packingh|
Contact: Jeannette Warnert
University of California - Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources
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