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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Fumigation and Chemistry Group
of the Commodity Protection and Quality Research Unit

USDA, Agricultural Research Service, SJVASC
Parlier, CA 93648

Dr. Spencer Walse, Research Chemist
Jane Tebbets, Physical Science Technician

Steve Tebbets, Support Scientist, Fumigation/Insect Rearing

Dr. James Leesch, Collaborator


The CPQ research unit of the Agricultural Research Service has a history spanning over 50 years.  The facility began with the Stored-Product Research Laboratory on Air Terminal Drive in Fresno, CA.  It relocated to Peach Avenue in Fresno in 1985, and in 2001, moved to Parlier, CA under the San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center.  Over all those years, the chemistry and fumigation group has played an integral role in the mission statement of the unit to develop post-harvest commodity and quarantine treatment schedules.

Our work emphasizes post-harvest, chamber fumigation to protect and expand the domestic and foreign distribution of U.S.-grown durable and perishable food commodities. Our goal is to develop safe and effective quarantine and commodity treatments to control pestiferous species of arthropods while maintaining quality and shelf-life of the host commodity in trade and marketing channels.

As a public agency, it is our responsibility to share information that may assist you and your commodity group in protecting and marketing your product.  Furthermore, it is our desire to encourage you to partner with us in solving new or recurring problems that might impact your trade or marketing for which fumigation might present a solution.

Currently, the fumigation capabilities of the Commodity Protection and Quality Research Unit of the San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center are two (2) Varian gas chromatographs, two (2) portable gas chromatographs, and the following fumigation chambers and facilities:

  Twenty four (24) one cubic foot chambers (12" x 12" x 12")

  Three (3) nine cu. ft. chambers (22" x 22" x 30")

  One 133 cubic foot chamber (54" x 80" x 54")

  Fumigations using smaller chambers (1 or 9 cu. ft.) are conducted inside 495 cu. ft. temperature controlled (32 – 100° F) walk-in boxes (97" x 97" x 91").
We have two of these fumigation rooms.

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like additional information regarding post-harvest fumigation.

The link below will take you to a short paper describing in detail our multi-chamber system for laboratory-scale fumigations using the 1 cu. ft. chambers.  The system has been in use at our laboratory for about three decades and is the primary system used to establish dose-response curves and where much of the fumigation research conceptually begins.

Fumigation Chambers and Manifold System for Laboratory-Scale, Multi-Chamber Experiments
by J. Steven Tebbets



Last Modified: 12/11/2014
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