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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

2007 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Demonstrate alternatives to MB in key crop systems and regions dependent upon MB. This will be accomplished by conducting replicated, large-scale field trials that will compare standard treatments with MB to the best available alternatives. The alternatives will include substitute fumigants and supporting integrated pest management (IPM) practices. The trials will be conducted by multi-disciplinary teams in partnership with commercial growers at field locations that collectively represent the diversity of the commercial production systems.

2. Conduct comprehensive assessments of alternatives to MB in key crop systems and regions dependent upon MB. This will be accomplished by multi-disciplinary collection and analysis of biological, environmental, and economic data from the trials described above.

3. Identify key variables affecting the efficacy of MB alternatives and demonstrate management and predictive use of the variables to optimize performance of the alternatives.

4. Assess and demonstrate emissions reduction technologies and strategies for fumigant alternatives to MB.

5. Conduct multi-regional education programs that instruct growers, farm workers, and associated members of the agricultural community on optimized, IPM-supported use of MB alternatives.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The project will achieve its objectives by using a collaborative, inter-disciplinary approach and will include operational, assessment, and educational components. The operational component will involve horticulturists, soil and atmospheric chemists, plant pathologists, nematologists, weed specialists, engineers, economists, extension educators, and regulatory specialists working together with commercial growers, nurserymen, advisors, and other agricultural workers. The teams will demonstrate, assess, and optimize use of MB alternatives in commercial fields. The optimizations will focus on identifying and managing variables that maximize fumigant efficacy and minimize fumigant emissions. Where appropriate, integrated pest management practices will be demonstrated and evaluated for contributions to optimizing MB alternatives. The assessment component of the project will involve advanced analysis of economic, environmental, and social data obtained from the field trials. As information accumulates from activities in the operational and assessment components, it will be extended to end users in the educational component of the project. Educational outreach will be achieved via indoor and outdoor extension meetings, newsletters, educational websites, and peer-reviewed and popular publications. Teams involved in the operational, assessment, and educational components will be drawn from diverse public and private institutions, including, but not limited to: USDA-ARS (Davis, Parlier, Riverside, and Salinas locations, with possible contributions from Corvallis and Wenatchee); University of California, including UC Cooperative Extension; California Environmental Protection Agency; California Department of Food and Agriculture; commercial fumigant applicators and manufacturers; marketing and research boards for horticultural commodities; and producers.

Critical use exemptions for soil fumigation with Methyl Bromide. Methyl Bromide has been used extensively as a soil fumigant to control nematodes, fungi, insects and weeds on more that 100 crops worldwide. Due to the fact that MB was classified as an Ozone Depleting substance restrictions have been placed on its use in agriculture and, although there has been over 10 years of research for MB alternatives, widespread adoption of these alternatives has not occurred for many crops, especially in California where most of the MB research projects reside. Fumigant use statistics, industry and regulatory consultations, and group consensus were reached to determine the priorities set by the USDA, ARS, Crops Pathology/Genetics Research Unit in Davis, California. Research will serve as a foundation for research on MB alternatives in the Western US. This accomplishment addresses NP 308 Methyl Bromide Alternatives, Component: Preplant Soil Fumigation Alternatives & NP 304 Crop Protection & Quarantine, Component: Integrated Pest Management Systems and Areawide Suppression Programs.

5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations

6.Technology Transfer

Number of non-peer reviewed presentations and proceedings10
Number of newspaper articles and other presentations for non-science audiences6

Last Modified: 11/27/2015
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