COST BENEFIT ANALYSES OF USING GRAFTED WATERMELON TRANSPLANTS FOR FUSARIUM WILT DISEASE CONTROL
Research on grafted watermelon at the Lane Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Lane, Oklahoma provided data for the cost benefit analyses performed in this work. Grafting of watermelon onto resistant rootstock was found to provide effective resistance to Fusarium wilt but at an increased cost of $1,743 per hectare. The resistance of these plants to multiple soil-borne diseases provides the farmer a viable risk management strategy and an alternative to methyl bromide for disease control. Soil-borne diseases such as Fusarium wilt continue to plague watermelon growers in intensive production areas where land resources are scarce and rotation of various crops is limited. Fusarium wilt is generally observed in farmers fields during the latter stages of production when most of the costs have been incurred. Risk management alternatives available to the farmer have been reduced by the loss of soil fumigation chemicals such as methyl bromide. Currently, most seedless cultivars are susceptible to Fusarium wilt. It would appear that many of the present-day triploids have a similar genetic background. With triploids commanding almost 75% of the watermelon market in 2006, Fusarium wilt resistance has become a major emphasis for seed companies. A farmer planning for yields of 40,000 kg/ha would have to receive a price of $0.19/kg to breakeven with grafted plants while non-grafted plants would breakeven at $0.13/kg with the same yield. In the case where a field is known to have a history of Fusarium wilt, the probability of losing most or all of the crop after the majority of production costs have been expended forces the farmer to evaluate best alternative decisions based on costs versus probable revenues.
Taylor, M., Bruton, B., Fish, W. and Roberts, W. (2008). COST BENEFIT ANALYSES OF USING GRAFTED WATERMELON TRANSPLANTS FOR FUSARIUM WILT DISEASE CONTROL. Acta Hortic. 782, 343-350
risk management, rootstock, soil-borne, pathogens, Cucurbita sp., Lagenaria sp., Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum