Soil disinfestation with Agrocelone NE (AOL)

Nici de Beer

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The ever increasing demand for food is placing pressure on agricultural systems to increase crop yields and quality. In addition to this fact, the modern consumer is demanding safer food of higher aesthetic and nutritional value.

This places huge pressure on crop production systems, intensifying crop and land use and the requirements for smarter solutions. Cropping practices in most cases lead to the build-up of harmful soil-borne phytopathological microbes and nematodes.

These organisms can survive in the soil for a number of seasons and as their populations begin to build up, crops are under increased pressure and the focus sometimes moves to the overuse of alternatives like fertilisers and nutrient amendments to try to rectify shortcomings.

Another factor making the control of these soil living pests and diseases difficult is the loss and phasing out of so many active substances due to environmental and health considerations.

Resistance build-up and other phenomena like Accelerated Microbial Degradation, have placed the focus on turning to Integrated Pest Manage- ment using more and more management tools to combat these pests and diseases.

Soil Disinfestation focuses on the use of specialised compounds and techniques to eradicate soil microbes and nematode inoculum before the crop is planted.

It is a fact that pre-crop eradication of these organisms gives transplanted seedlings and young plants a head start.

The absence of harmful nematodes and soil microbes allows the young plant to grow unaffected and reach its genetic potential much easier. It increases root development and the building of a transportation stream that will later in the season lead to significantly increased yields and more robust plants which can be more resistant to attacks by other indirect antagonists.

In addition to these benefits, stronger healthier plants are less susceptible to the damage caused by water stress during times when energy availability and irregular irrigation remain a problem.

Soil Disinfestation is carried out by the application of Agrocelone NE directly in the soil before crop establishment.

Agrocelone NE is manufactured by the multina- tional company Agroqumicos de Levante SL with its headquarters in Valencia Spain. Agrocelone NE contains two potent active substances which act synergistically to reduce nematode and soil pathogen inoculum to levels which will not have a negative impact on the newly established crop.

These compounds form volatile gasses after application and the gas is able to easily move through the soil air space. The use of gas- forming compounds gives unprecedented levels of control which can never be matched with conventional liquid treatments.

Agrocelone NE can be applied in most situations using either the very accurate drip irrigation method or in the case of perennial crops, by using the tractor-driven shank applica- tion method. Application depth and width can be adapted to the specific needs according to the growing system.

Agrocelone NE’s high-purity formulation acts rapidly to control soil-borne nematodes and pathogens and then quickly dissipates to leave a residue-free substrate before crop establishment. The clean start also aids in less dependence on seasonal treatments which may contribute to harmful chemical residues.

When Soil Disinfestation forms part of the Integrated Pest Management strategy, it is complemented by the use of beneficial soil microbes. This helps to fill the root zone with good microbes contributing to the extended benefits obtained by disinfestation and assisting in keeping pathogen and nematode levels low.

The Lowveld Soil Disinfestation team has certified pest control operators who have been thoroughly trained in the application and use of Agrocelone NE in a wide range of crop production systems.

AGROCELONE NE contains 1,3-dichloropropene 803 g / L and chloropicrin 440 g / L EC (Reg. Nr. L8260, Act No. 36 of 1947). Danger, for use by registered post control operations only. Agrocelone NE is a registered trademark of Agroquimicos de Levante S.A. Registered by Afrifume (Pty) Ltd, 5b Bird Street, Stellenbosch, 7600. Tel. +27 72 099 8370. © Agroquimicos de Levante S.A. 2023.