Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Getting ready for a pre-plant fumigation with Telone. A lot of specialized equipment is involved. Fumigation reduces soil nematode populations and is important for reduction of Replant Disorder, an ill-defined soil condition that stunts new trees.

This is the GPS-guided tractor that will inject the fumigant into the soil. This rig is set up to "know" where each tree will be planted and apply fumigant in about a 10 ft. square at each tree site. This is a trial run and researchers will measure the concentration of fumigant surrounding each tree site to test the application accuracy.

Fumigants are tightly regulated and county biologists were on site to be sure all safety and regulatory requirements were being met. Pictured are Melanie Fisher (Stanislaus Co.), Kraig Williams (TriCal, Inc.), Anna Genasci (Stanislaus Co.), and Matt Gilis (researcher with TriCal, Inc.)


  1. Pretty cool technology. I'm curious how much fumigant you'll save by only treating the root growth areas.

  2. The trees are 16 ft apart along the row so it would save (16-10)/16, or 38%. The following question is how much growth potential do you sacrifice to save that 38%. Nematodes eventually re-infest the fumigated area so we are really just buying a head-start for the trees when we fumigate. The spot treatment was for their trial work and they used a different fumigant, chloropicrin, which was easier for them to measure. We treated solidly, 12 feet wide, down the tree row over top of their trial after they collected their data. My preference would be to treat the entire field solidly, but budget considerations temper my enthusiasm. It is amazing how GPS has enabled so much more precision in agriculture!