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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Fumigant Use in California

Author
item Trout, Thomas

Submitted to: Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Research Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 12, 2005
Publication Date: October 6, 2005
Citation: Trout, T.J. 2005. Fumigant use in california. Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Research Conference Proceedings. Annual International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives And Emissions Reductions Publication 2005, pp 12-1 - 12-5.

Interpretive Summary: Methyl bromide use is being phased out under the Montreal Protocol. Pesticide reporting requirements in California allow the use of methyl bromide and of alternative fumigants to be tracked. Methyl bromide use has declined by about 70%, but total fumigant use has stayed fairly constant. Growers are substituting alternative fumigants such as Telone and chloropicrin for soil fumigation of high value crops. They use metam sodium on more area than any other soil fumigant, but it is primarily used on vegetable crops that did not heavily use methyl bromide. Methyl bromide will continue to be available at near the current amount for at least 2 more years through Critical Use and Quarantine and Preshipment exemptions.

Technical Abstract: The Pesticide Use Reporting (PUR) requirements in California allow accurate estimation of the use of fumigants in the state. The use trends since 1991 for the 4 primary soil fumigants, methyl bromide (MeBr), 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) (Telone® products), metam sodium, and chloropicrin were tracked. Methyl bromide use has declined to about 30% of earlier use in California due to reduced supplies resulting from the MeBr phaseout, increased costs, and restrictive California regulations. Telone use has increased rapidly since it was reintroduced in 1995 and is the major fumigant for trees and vines and some vegetables. Chloropicrin use has also increased as the cost of MeBr increased. It is used for crops that are sensitive to diseases like strawberries. Metam Sodium is the largest use fumigant in California, but much of its use is for vegetable crops that did not previously use MeBr.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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