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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Fumigant Use in California.

Author
item Trout, Thomas

Submitted to: Proceedings of International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 6, 2002
Publication Date: November 6, 2002
Citation: Trout, T.J. 2002. Fumigant use in california.. Proceedings of International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives.

Interpretive Summary: The Pesticide Use Reporting (PUR) requirements in California result in a database, maintained by CA Department of Pesticide Regulation, that allows relatively accurate estimation of fumigant use in the state. With this data, we can determine what alternative fumigants growers use for various crops as methyl bromide is phased out. Use of MeBr has declined gradually since 1991. By 1998, the use was about 75% of the 1991 use. After an increase in 1999, use declined dramatically in response to dramatically increased prices that resulted from regulatory limitations in supplies and from increase state restrictions on applications. About 93% of the MeBr use in California was for preplant soil fumigation, 3% for structural fumigation, and 3% for post-harvest commodity fumigation (1% uncategorized). Use of metam sodium increased dramatically from 1991 through 1995 and it's total use for soil fumigation surpassed MeBr in 1999 and 2000, when it was applied to three times the number of acres as MeBr. Since Telone was re-introduced in 1994, use of this product has increased dramatically for certain crops. While the use of MeBr in California has declined, total fumigant use increased up to 1999, but declined in 2000. Growers of high-value nematode sensitive crops are adopting Telone as an alternative, while metam sodium is used on lower-valued crops.

Technical Abstract: The Pesticide Use Reporting (PUR) requirements in California result in a database, maintained by CA Department of Pesticide Regulation, that allows relatively accurate estimation of fumigant use in the state. With this data, we can determine what alternative fumigants growers use for various crops as methyl bromide is phased out. Use of MeBr has declined gradually since 1991. By 1998, the use was about 75% of the 1991 use. After an increase in 1999, use declined dramatically in response to dramatically increased prices that resulted from regulatory limitations in supplies and from increase state restrictions on applications. About 93% of the MeBr use in California was for preplant soil fumigation, 3% for structural fumigation, and 3% for post-harvest commodity fumigation (1% uncategorized). Use of metam sodium increased dramatically from 1991 through 1995 and it's total use for soil fumigation surpassed MeBr in 1999 and 2000, when it was applied to three times the number of acres as MeBr. Since Telone was re-introduced in 1994, use of this product has increased dramatically for certain crops. While the use of MeBr in California has declined, total fumigant use increased up to 1999, but declined in 2000. Growers of high-value nematode sensitive crops are adopting Telone as an alternative, while metam sodium is used on lower-valued crops.

Last Modified: 4/20/2014