Chloropicrin Soil Fumigation in
Potato Production Systems
Sponsored by TriEst Ag Group, Inc.
By Chad Hutchinson, Ph.D.
Director of Research
TriEst Ag Group, Inc.
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In this presentation from the 2018 Potato Expo, Dr. Chad Hutchinson discusses the benefits of using Chloropicrin in potato production. He begins by reviewing the history of Chloropicrin, which has been used safely as a preplant soil treatment for more than 60 years. Chloropicrin suppresses soilborne pathogenic fungi, as well as some nematodes and insects. Hutchinson also reviews soil fumigation technology for potatoes, describing and illustrating the application rig and its operation. In discussing the environmental impact of Chloropicrin, Hutchinson identifies several key benefits: Chloropicrin degrades rapidly in the soil, leaving no residues; it does not sterilize the soil; it does not deplete the ozone layer; and it has never been found in groundwater. Additional benefits associated with the use of Chloropicrin are that it promotes soil health and increases beneficial organisms. In sum, the use of Chloropicrin not only increases production efficiency and profit potential for potato growers, but it also improves soil health, which Hutchinson describes as “the foundation of a positive crop production system.”