The effects of metam-sodium application rate on soil residence time, spatial and temporal distributions of methyl isothiocyanate and pest control efficacy were studied in a Georgia sandy soil. Metam-sodium 420 g L(-1) SL was drip applied at rates of 147 and 295 L ha(-1) in plastic-mulched raised beds. Methyl isothiocyanate concentrations in soil air space were monitored from four preselected sites: 10 and 20 cm below the emitter, and 20 and 30 cm laterally away from the emitter at 3, 12, 24, 48, 72, 120 and 240 h after chemigation. A higher rate of metam-sodium application resulted in higher methyl isothiocyanate concentrations in the soil. Highest methyl isothiocyanate concentrations were found at 20 cm below the emitter, and lowest at 30 cm laterally away from the emitter. Methyl isothiocyanate concentrations decreased with time and distance from the emitter. Lower methyl isothiocyanate concentration x time product values at 20 and 30 cm away from the emitter resulted in lower mortalities of Rhizoctonia solani Kühn and yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.). The results demonstrated that methyl isothiocyanate can be delivered at lethal doses with drip-applied water downward within the beds. Lateral diffusion of methyl isothiocyanate from the point of application did not reach biologically active concentrations to affect the survival of R. solani or yellow nutsedge. Further studies on the lateral distribution of methyl isothiocyanate in sandy soils are needed to circumvent this limitation.
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