Perspectives of Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation

J.G. Lamers, W.T. Runia, L.P.G. Molendijk, P.O. Bleeker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Biological soil disinfestation is an environmentally friendly method to disinfest soil. From now on we refer to it as anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD). With ASD a green manure crop (40 t/ha) is homogeneously incorporated into the topsoil (0-30 cm) after which the field is lightly compacted and irrigated. Subsequently the field is mechanically covered with air tight virtually impermeable film (VIF) to restrict oxygen supply to the topsoil. The soil is left covered for six weeks in the summer. In this period anaerobic conditions develop rapidly in which toxic fermentation products are formed. These conditions are responsible for elimination of fungal and bacterial pathogens as well as parasitic nematodes, insects and weeds. In the Netherlands since 2004 anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) was applied on approximately 70 ha mainly for asparagus and strawberry runners production. When the asparagus crop was replanted ASD proved to be profitable for many years by controlling Fusarium oxysporum. Although highly effective against soilborne pathogens and pests ASD is not applied widely in the Netherlands due to the high costs of about € 4000 per ha. Apart from the costs this technique needs special attention to prevent plastic damage. Moreover the mechanism behind ASD is not well defined which makes recommendations for growers complex. A new and promising development in ASD is the application of defined products on a basis of mixtures of carbon hydrates and proteins. The mechanism of ASD will be studied in the next few years with some of these products by measuring gases and fatty acids and microbial shifts in relation to efficacy. Chemical soil disinfestation with fumigants is restricted more and more and a non-chemical approach of soil disinfestation like ASD is urgently needed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-284
JournalActa Horticulturae
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Perspectives of Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this