Title page for ETD etd-0903102-104034

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Hasing, Julio Eduardo
Author's Email Address jhasin1@lsu.edu
URN etd-0903102-104034
Title Agroeconomic Effect of Soil Solarization on Fall-Planted Lettuce
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Horticulture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Carl Motsenbocker Committee Chair
Charles Monlezun Committee Member
Owusu Bandele Committee Member
Roger Hinson Committee Member
  • increased growth response
  • soil disinfection
  • sustainable agriculture
Date of Defense 2002-06-28
Availability unrestricted
The effects of summer soil solarization on the production and economics of four lettuce cultivars were evaluated in two plantings conducted during the fall growing season of 2001, to determine the feasibility of integrating strip-solarization in plasticulture cropping systems. Soil was solarized for 53 and 34 days for the first and second plantings, respectively, using transparent (T4, T5) and black films (T6) that were kept in place as plastic mulches in raised beds through the fall season. Soil temperatures were recorded at 5 and 10-cm depths at 1-hour intervals during the solarization period. Mulch on T5 was painted black before planting the crop using diluted oil-based paint. Non-solarization treatments included bare ground (T1), fall black plastic mulch (T2) and fall plastic mulch + soil pesticides (T3). Soil pesticides applied on T3 during the first and second plantings were Mefenoxam (MEF) and a mixture of 1,3-Dichloropropene and Chloropicrin (TC-35), respectively. Temperature regimes below clear and black plastic mulches were equivalent, although clear film consistently showed longer periods of sustained high temperatures. Solarization with clear and black mulches equally increased lettuce yield by enhancing plant growth and head weight, as plant stand was uniform for all the treatments. MEF did not affect yield, and TC-35 decreased head weight due to phytotoxicity. Solarization reduced weed densities, especially from grasses. Enhanced weed suppression was achieved by using black plastic for solarization and mulching. MEF increased weed populations while TC-35 caused maximum weed suppression. Cost analysis revealed that yield increases required to cover solarization expenses in bare-ground and fall-mulch systems are generally lower than yield increases reported in previous solarization research.
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