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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

2012 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):
Objective 1: An economic component will be expanded for 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. For each of these projects the Principal Investigator will tabulate/calculate the osts of pre-plant treatments with methyl bromide and all fumigant and non-fumigant alternatives to methyl bromide being tested in the projects. In addition, the yield data or estimated yield data from the projects will be used to calculate the expected gross income for each of the treatments under consideration. The costs and income will be compared to examine the economics of the alternatives. In order to complete comprehensive and up-to-date economic analyses of the fumigant and non-fumigant alternatives to methyl bromide, PI Klonsky will convene and communicate with the PAW-MBA project leaders for almonds and stone fruits, walnuts, grapes, sweetpotato, and cut flowers; commercial fumigant suppliers and applicators; additional specialists for the crops covered; and regulatory personnel. Economic analysis of the alternative treatments will include average market prices for each commodity and location. The analysis will take any differences in efficacy into account and estimate the impact on gross income from changes in yields and quality over time. “Breakeven” yields and prices will be calculated for cases where there is a significant yield reduction from switching to an alternative to methyl bromide. Objective 2-Results of the analyses conducted under objective 1 will be used to predict the economic impact of adoption of the fumigant and non-fumigant alternatives to MB on California growers of the commodities covered by this project. Objective 3-Results from objectives 1 and 2 will be extended to stakeholders by oral and written presentations at the Annual International Research Conference for Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reductions, indoor and field meetings for growers and other stakeholders sponsored UC Cooperative Extension, popular and peer-reviewed publications, and preparation of graphical and written summaries appropriate for PAW-MBA website outreach.

3. Progress Report:
This Specific Cooperative Agreement was established in support of objective 2 of the in-house project, which is to conduct comprehensive assessments of alternatives to MB in key crop systems & regions dependent upon MB. The goal of this project is to determine the economic impact of adoption of alternatives to MB on California growers taking into account the pest management costs & any changes in efficacy. The cost and cumulative yield impact of twelve alternative fumigant and tarp combination treatments were compared for almonds in Madera, California. The fumigants considered were Chloropicrin, Telone C35, Telone II, and Methyl Bromide with Chloropicrin. Each material was applied in three ways; full floor, strip along the tree row, and strip with tarp. The Telone C35 did not have a tarp treatment. For the full floor treatments,Telone II was the lowest cost material ($684 per acre) followed by Telone C35 ($1,800 per acre), Chloropicrin ($2,000 per acre), and Methyl Bromide ($2,200 per acre). Of course, the strip treatments greatly reduced the costs to 37 percent of the full floor costs. The tarp added $360 to the costs. For all of the fumigants except Chloropicrin the full floor treatment had the highest cumulative yield increase followed by the strip with tarp. The lowest yield increase was for the strip treatments in all cases except Chloropicrin, where the strip treatment without the tarp was the highest yield increase. Comparing the fumigants, the cumulative almond yield response was highest for the Telone II full floor treatment (2,909 kernal pounds per acre) followed by the Telone II strip, tarp treatment (2,487 pounds). For all of the fumigants the strip treatment had the lowest cost per pound of yield increase. This was calculated by dividing the yield increase above the control treatment by the cost of the fumigant and tarp. The lowest cost per pound of increased yield for each of the fumigants was Methyl Bromide strip ($1.00 per pound), Telone C35 strip ($.54 per pound), Chloropicrin strip ($.32 per pound),and Telone II strip ($.11 per pound). An economic analysis was also conducted for the peach trial at Parlier, California. In this trial the fumigants compared were Chloropicrin, Inline, Telone C35, and Methly Bromide. Treatments included spot treatments at the tree site (Telone C35, Inline, and Chloropicrin) or strip treatments (Telone C35 and Methyl Bromide), and treatment with Sudan grass planted before the fumigation (Methyl Bromide strip, Telone C35 strip and spot, Inline spot, and Chloropicrin spot). The Sudan added $214 per acre in cost. Not surprisingly, the most expensive treatment was the Methyl Bromide strip with Sudan ($1,101 per acre). Telone C35 was the only treatment that had both spot and strip treatments. The spot treatment reduced costs from $708 per acre to $285 per acre due to reduced material used. The least expensive treatment was Chloropicrin spot at $279 per acre. The peach yields for 2010 showed a significant increase over the control for all treatments. The Sudan increased yield for the Chloropicrin and Telone C35 but not for the Inline or Methyl Bromide. The strip treatments had higher yields than the spot treatments for Telone C35 both with and without the Sudan. The highest yield was from Telone C35 strip with Sudan followed by Telone C35 strip without Sudan. The poorest performance was with Inline. Methyl Bromide was the second most effective fumigant followed by Chloropicrin. The ranking of the results for the net income above harvest and treatment costs were almost the same as for the yields. Telone C35 strip plus Sudan net revenue was $7,472 per acre, Methyl Bromide strip was $1,072 per acre, Chloropicrin spot plus Sudan was $975 per acre, and Inline spot was $762 per acre.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 07/23/2017
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