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2007 Annual Report

UC Statewide IPM Program
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Irrigation of a tomato field
Stands of transplanted tomatoes in no-till, sub-surface drip irrigated beds with no herbicides. Photo by Anil Shrestha.

Sub-surface drip irrigation serves as IPM tool for processing tomatoes

UC IPM Advisor Anil Shrestha worked with colleagues from UCCE and UC Davis and found that weed densities could be reduced by as much as 90% in sub-surface drip irrigation compared to furrow irrigation systems. 

This finding was true for both standard tillage and no-tillage tomato beds. "We buried drip tape 10 inches below the surface in 60-inch tomato beds. The buried drip tape resulted in bed surfaces and furrows that were too dry for germination of weed seeds. This phenomenon could reduce the need for herbicides," says Shrestha.

This study showed that sub-surface drip irrigation could be used as an IPM strategy for tomato production in the Central Valley. The study was conducted at the West Side Research and Extension Center and at the UC Davis Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility. 

Shrestha; Tom Lanini, Plant Sciences, UC Davis; Jeff Mitchell, UCCE, Woodland; Gene Miyao, farm advisor for Yolo and Solano counties; and former graduate student Kipp Sutton worked on this project.

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