Effect of application variables on emissions and distribution of fumigants applied via subsurface drip irrigation

Sharon K. Papiernik, Robert S. Dungan, Wei Zheng, Mingxin Guo, Scott M. Lesch, Scott R. Yates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Soil fumigation is useful for controlling soil-borne pests and diseases in high-cash-value crops. Fumigants are highly volatile, and approaches to reduce atmospheric emissions are required to protect human and environmental health. Application of fumigants through drip irrigation has been proposed as a means to decrease fumigant emissions, improve fumigant distribution in soil, and minimize worker exposure. These experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of the configuration of the drip system on the volatilization and distribution of the fumigants 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), propargyl bromide (PrBr), and methyl isothiocyanate (MITC) in bedded systems. Results indicated that changing the drip emitter spacing and using multiple drip lines in each bed had little effect on the emissions and distribution of any fumigant. Increasing the depth of application from 15 to 30 cm reduced volatilization of MITC by ∼20 to >90%; emissions were reduced due to a decrease in the flux from the bed top, and deeper injection did not change the amount of fumigant volatilized from the bed side slope and furrow. Increasing the application depth resulted in a slight decrease in the rate of fumigant dissipation in soil, indicating the potential for some improvement in pest-control efficacy with deeper application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5489-5496
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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