I still believe that we are missing the boat by talking about
"alternatives to Methyl Bromide". The fact is that Methyl Bromide IS
the alternative; the alternative to good husbandry and soil health. And
thanks for your excellent article in IPM Practitioner, it informed and
inspired a lot of people.
>From: Joel Grossman[SMTP:email@example.com]
>Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 1996 9:52 AM
>Subject: Mustards as fumigants
>I was at the methyl bromide alternatives conference, and if my memory
>correct, the problem with brassicas like mustard as a soil fumigant is
>they are phytotoxic to strawberries.
>But for many other crops, mustards make good soil fumigants,
>when combined with solarization. The plastic tarp used in solarization
>holds in the toxic gases that arise from the decomposition of the
>[and other cole crop residues, including cabbage], providing quicker
>better results than without tarping.
>The key with strawberries is some R&D to find out the cause of
>and then find a plant variety that can be used as an alternative
>for the crop. But this line of research is, to the best of my
>not being pursued.
>By the way, there is a 10-page article titled "Brassica Alternatives to
>Herbicides and Soil Fumigants," with a page of references on the
>in the July 1993 IPM Practitioner [BIRC, Berkeley, CA, 510/524-2567;
>checked they were selling back issues for $5, if you're really
>in the subject]. I thought then, and still think now, that the concept
>grouping fumigant green manure/cover crops is a good one. The major
>limitation is that when dealing with home-grown botanical products,
>will be variations in levels of the toxicants in the plants and
>due to climate, soil, growing conditions etc. Also, these plant
>are not always benign -- remember the famous mustard gas of World War I
>a product of these same brassicas.
>disclaimer: I wrote the brassica article for the IPMP referred to