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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

2010 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Conduct comprehensive, comparative cost-benefit analyses for pre-plant soil fumigation with methyl bromide (MB) and fumigant and non-fumigant alternatives to MB being tested in the Pacific Area-Wide Pest Management Program for Integrated Methyl Bromide Alternatives (PAW-MBA) for almonds and stone fruits, walnuts, grapes, sweetpotato, and cut flowers. 2. Predict the economic impact of adoption of alternatives to methyl bromide on California growers of each commodity taking into account the pest management costs and any changes in efficacy. 3. Extend the results of Objectives 1 and 2 to stakeholders.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
1. To assess economics of alternative replant management strategies, all costs and resulting crop returns will be measured and estimated for the treatments evaluated in field trials associated with the area wide program. The alternatives investigated will include but not be limited to the following: strawberries – low rates of drip applied fumigants, new fumigants, semi impermeable film and steam treatments; cut flowers – shank and drip fumigation, walnuts, almonds, and stone fruits – spot treatments, application methods that minimize non-target fumigant emissions, delayed planting; sweetpotato – alternative fumigation materials, solarization, herbicides, and cultivar selection. 2. Educational outreach will be achieved via oral presentations in counties where crops are grown, newsletter features from the associated Farm Advisors, articles in the popular press, and an article in California Agriculture. Documents SCA with UC Davis.

3. Progress Report
The agreement was established in support of Objective 2 of the in-house project, the goal being to conduct comprehensive assessments of alternatives to MB in key crop systems and regions dependent upon MB. This will be accomplished by multi-disciplinary collection and analysis of biological, environmental, and economic data from the trails described in the in-house project. The goal of this project is to determine the economic impact of adoption of alternatives to methyl bromide on California growers of each commodity taking into account the pest management costs and any changes in efficacy. Economic analysis was complete for preplant fumigation trials for almonds in 2006 – 2009, peaches for 2009 and grapes for 2009. For the almonds, the fumigants compared were Chloropicrin, Telone II, and Methyl Bromide. Various combinations of tarps, strip, and spot treatments were used. Tarps did not increase yield for any of the treatments. Strip treatments reduced costs per acre but also decreased yield except for Chloropicrin. Methyl Bromide was the least efficient fumigant. For peaches, the fumigants compared were Chloropicrin, Inline, Telone C35, and Methyl Bromide with strip and spot treatments. Sudan grass was planted before fumigation on half of the plots. The Sudan grass slightly increased yield. However, the second leaf data is too early to speculate on the impact on yields and tree growth. Spot treatment is not commercially available and the true cost of application is unknown. Reducing the percent of floor treated to a strip reduced cost per acre by $400 for Telone C35 but fruit yield and trunk growth were also reduced. Sudan grass added $214 per acre in costs. Methyl Bromide had the highest costs at $1,101 for the 42 percent strip treatment. The raisin grape study included Methyl Bromide shanked, Telone C35 shanked, and Inline applied with subsurface irrigation. Inline and Telone were applied with and without VIF tarps and the Methyl Bromide was applied with an HDPE tarp. Tarping adds about $500 per acre to costs. Again, the Methyl Bromide was the highest cost treatment at $2,536 per acre. No yield data has been taken yet. The ADODR monitors this SCA by maintaining a complete file of the agreement, reviewing the annual reports, and conducting meetings with the cooperator during the course of the agreement.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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