By The Grower staff

The Environmental Protection Agency has registered Paladin pre-plant fumigant from Arkema of Philadelphia.

The product contains the active ingredient, dimethyl disulfide or DMDS—a substance derived from sulfur.

Paladin is registered for pre-plant use on tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, melons, strawberries, ornamentals and forest nursery crops, according to a news release.

It is considered a methyl bromide alternative.

In the United States, it will be marketed through United Phosphorus Inc. of King of Prussia, Pa.

Paladin has been used under an Experimental Use Permit in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina during the past three years.

Researchers identified DMDS as one of the volatile compounds produced when soil is amended with cabbage and solarized. The result is a reduction in fungal soilborne pathogens and nematodes.

Researchers with the Agricultural Research Service and University of Florida have conducted several trials with the product, including some with cut flowers.

In the cut flower trials, DMDS alone and in combination with chloropicrin produced results similar to plots treated with methyl bromide/chloropicrin.

DMDS controlled root-knot nematode juveniles comparable to methyl bromide, according to research reports. It also controlled pythium root rot.

To read more about the methyl bromide alternative research, visit the University of Florida.

In 2008, North Carolina State University researchers conducted a field trial on 2 acres of tomatoes near Marshall, N.C.

The trial involved methyl bromide applied at 275 pounds per acre with VIF (virtually inpenetrable film), Pic-Chlor 60 applied at 250 pounds per acre with VIF, Paladin at 50 gallons per acre and an untreated check with VIF.

Weed and verticilium wilt control were similar between the methyl bromide and Paladin, according to research reports. Pic-Chlor had at least numberically fewer weeds and less vertilicium wilt. All treatments provided better control than the untreated check.

As far as marketable yield, Paladin and Pic-Chlor yielded similar results, with methyl bromide producing less marketable fruit. Trailing all treatments was the untreated check.

To view more of the NCSU research, click here.

When applied in conjunction with chloropicrin, DMDS controls most plant pathogens and a wide range of weeds, including yellow and purple nutsedge, according to the news release.

Registrations are pending in several states. The company also has submitted a registration package to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.