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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Challenges to Adoption of Methyl Bromide Alternatives.

Author
item Schneider, Sally

Submitted to: Journal of Nematology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2005
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Methyl bromide (MB) was phased out in the United States and other developed countries as of January 1, 2005 in accordance with the Montreal Protocol. The exceptions to the phase-out are growers with approved Critical Use Exemptions (CUE) for 2005 and Quarantine/Preshipment applications. Research to develop and implement acceptable MB alternatives has been conducted by university, government, and industry scientists since the MB phase-out was announced. Progress has been made, but many challenges remain. Some crops, such as watermelon and tobacco, have transitioned away from use of methyl bromide. Others, such as tomato and pepper, still use MB for most of the crop produced in the southeast U.S. In the U.S. nomination submitted to United Nations Environmental Programme in 2005 for CUEs for MB use in 2007, approximately 72% of the preplant methyl bromide nominated was for use in southeastern U.S. cropping systems. Crops include tomato (48%), peppers (23%), cucurbits (12%), strawberry (10%), eggplant (2%), turf grass (2%), forest seedlings (2%), and ornamentals (1%). CUE applications are good indicators of cropping systems that are still dependent on methyl bromide. Barriers to adoption of alternatives include technical limitations (diagnostics, efficacy of control of key pests, consistency of control), regulatory constraints (registration, karst topography, buffer zones), and economic issues, as well as human nature and the amount of risk an individual grower is willing to accept. Potential solutions include expanded uses for currently registered materials, further development of experimental materials, improved efficacy of non-chemical management strategies, new application technologies, and integrated management using all available options. Methyl bromide alternatives will be adopted when acceptable, consistent efficacy is demonstrated under local, commercial conditions; alternatives are registered at all necessary levels; they are cost effective; product and application expertise is available; and growers have gained experience with the alternatives.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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