This study was conducted to examine the effects of three application methods of metam sodium (broadcast, single irrigation drip tape delivery, and double irrigation drip tape delivery) and two plastic covers (polyethylene film and virtually impermeable film) on volatilization and on horizontal and vertical distributions of the biologically active product of metam sodium, methyl isothiocyanate (MITC), in field plots in a Florida sandy soil. Volatilization of MITC from field beds lasted for about 20 hours after completion of metam sodium application regardless of application methods. Virtually impermeable film (VIF) was a better barrier to reduce volatilization loss than polyethylene film (PE). Since water was not applied during broadcast application, MITC was mainly retained in the shallow soil layer (0- to 20-cm depth) and downward movement of MITC was limited to about 30 cm. Large values of standard deviation indicated that initial spatial distribution of MITC in the root zone (10- and 20-cm depths) of the two broadcast applied beds covered with PE or VIF was variable. Twice more water was delivered through the single drip tape than through individual tapes of double drip tape treatments during drip application of metam sodium. More water from the single drip tape likely facilitated downward movement of MITC to at least 60-cm depth, but MITC did not penetrate to this depth in the double drip tape beds. On the other hand, horizontal distribution of MITC in the root zone (10- and 20-cm depths) in the double drip tape beds was more uniform than in the single drip tape beds. More MITC was retained in the subsurface of the VIF-covered beds regardless of application methods than in the PE-covered beds.
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