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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Reducing Air and Water Quality Issues with Methyl Bromide Alternatives in California
2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
To develop, test, and demonstrate effective and practical field management techniques for nematode pest control with minimal air and water quality concerns in soil fumigation with methyl bromide alternatives.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Surface barriers such as extremely low permeability plastic films will be used under field conditions to enhance pest nematode control and reduce fumigant emissions to the air. Soil amendments with natural organic materials such as animal manure or synthetic chemicals will be evaluated alone or in combination with the low permeability films to enhance fumigant decomposition thus reducing emission potential and protect air quality. Application of fumigants with irrigation systems will be tested in comparison with shank injection methods and potential for deep percolation and surface runoff will be evaluated. Impact of soil organic and inorganic amendments on air and water quality will also be measured.


3.Progress Report

This Specific Cooperative Agreement supports Objective 2 & 3 of the parent project. Soil fumigation has the potential to negatively impact air quality and new regulations to protect air and water quality in California require soil fumigation with methyl bromide alternatives to follow strict application protocols. During this project period, additional data collection and analyses were carried for two field projects initiated in the previous reporting cycle: one on the efficacy of dimethyl disulfide against nematodes in existing vineyards and the second on selecting landscape fabrics for avoiding nematodes and pathogens in strawberry production. A manuscript has been drafted for the fabrics study and a second manuscript on the post plant dimethyl disulfide study will be started in the next FY. The results of a long-term methyl bromide alternatives study in grapes were in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture. Findings from this collaborative research benefit California grape and strawberry growers who historically relied on soil fumigation with methyl bromide. The project is monitored by the lead scientist through regular email and telephone communications with the cooperator.


Last Modified: 11/26/2014
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