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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Special Submissions: Agricultural Air Quality

Comparisons of Soil Surface Sealing Methods to Reduce Fumigant Emission Loss


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 40 No. 5, p. 1480-1487
    Received: Oct 24, 2009

    * Corresponding author(s): Suduan.Gao@ars.usda.gov
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  1. Suduan Gao *a,
  2. Bradley D. Hansona,
  3. Ruijun Qina,
  4. Dong Wanga and
  5. Scott R. Yatesb
  1. a USDA–ARS, Water Management Research Unit, San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center, Parlier, CA 93648
    b USDA–ARS, U.S. Salinity Lab., Riverside, CA 92507. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Assigned to Associate Editor Sharon Papiernik


State and federal regulatory agencies depend on quality field data for determining the effects of agricultural management practices on fumigant emissions to develop sound, science-based policies and regulations on preplant soil fumigants. Field plot tests, using growers’ standard field operation procedures, were used to simultaneously determine the effectiveness of several commonly proposed emission reduction methods, in a trial involving shank injection of Telone II [a.i. 1,3-dichloropropnene (1,3-D)] to a sandy loam soil to a target rate of 372 kg ha−1. The experiment was conducted in late September 2008 in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Fumigant emissions were captured using dynamic flux chambers. The results showed that virtually impermeable film (VIF) reduced emissions >95% when compared to bare soil, and the glue joints in the film did not significantly affect the tarp performance. The VIF also created a more uniform distribution of gaseous fumigant in the soil profile, which would likely benefit pest control efficacy. Standard high-density polyethylene (HDPE) tarp reduced total 1,3-D emissions about 50% (higher than most reported values) in this trial, whereas postfumigation intermittent water treatments (seals) reduced cumulative emission losses by approximately 20%. Adding 49.4 Mg ha−1 (equivalent to 20 tons per acre) of composted dairy manure to surface soils did not reduce 1,3-D emissions during this experiment. Use of VIF was the most promising technique in reducing emissions and has the potential to allow lower application rates while providing satisfactory pest control.

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