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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Optimization of “horn” Phosphine Fumigations for Reducing Qps Methyl Bromide Treatment of Fresh Fruit to Control Key Quarantine Pests

Location: Commodity Protection and Quality

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1) Establish insecticidal efficacy of Vaporphos(R) toward False Chilean mite, Brevapalpus chilensis, in chambers containing varying amounts of other physiologically active gases and loaded with table grapes or fresh figs at cold-storage temperatures of 3ºC. Index relative to Vaporphos fumigations at atmospheric levels of oxygen (ca. 20%) as well as methyl bromide fumigations at 15.6, 10.0, and 4.5 ºC.

2) Establish insecticidal efficacy of Vaporphos' toward European grapevine moth, lobesia botrana, in chambers containing varying amounts of other physiologically active gases and loaded with table grapes or fresh figs at cold-storage temperatures of 3ºC. Index relative to Vaporphos fumigations at atmospheric levels of oxygen (ca. 20%) as well as methyl bromide fumigations at 15.6ºC. 3) Establish insecticidal efficacy of Vaporphos toward Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitus capitata in chambers containing varying amounts of other physiologically active gases and loaded with table grapes or fresh figs at cold-storage temperatures of 3ºC. Index relative to Vaporphos' fumigations at atmospheric levels of oxygen (ca. 20%) as well as methyl bromide fumigations at 15.6ºC.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The approach will utilize a cooperative effort between USDA-ARS, USDA-APHIS, and industry. Specifically, the efficacy of fumigants toward all life stages of the key quarantine insect pests will be empirically determined in 1ft3 and 9 ft3 chambers at several pressures and temperatures that accommodate, whenever possible, the logistical considerations of USDA-APHIS and industry.


3.Progress Report:

This Trust agreement was established to support Objective 1 of the in-house project and is related to finding postharvest methyl bromide alternatives and techniques for improving methyl bromide fumigations. The importation of table grapes from Chile results in the greatest quarantine preshipment use of methyl bromide on fresh produce by the US. This use of methyl bromide is to reduce ecological and agricultural risks associated with the potential introduction of the false Chilean mite, which is regulated as a quarantine pest in the US. Research trials are currently being conducted in Santiago, Chile as part of collaboration between USDA-APHIS, Chilean SAG, US industry, Chilean industry, University of California, and USDA-ARS. Fumigation of infested fruit with a 1000 ppm applied dose at 1.7° C for 9 days resulted in the complete mortality of approximately 7,000 eggs, the most phosphine-tolerant life stage of false Chilean mite. Results outline fumigation parameters that could be used to control false Chilean mite in table grapes imported from Chile, which have an estimated value greater than 500 million USD annually.


Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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