Submitted to: Journal of Phytopathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/23/2002
Publication Date: 12/1/2002
Citation: Yates, S.R., Gan, J., Papiernik, S.K., Dungan, R.S., Wang, D. 2002. Reducing fumigant emissions after soil application.. Journal of Phytopathology. (2(12):1344-1348.
Interpretive Summary: The emission of pesticides from soil is an important pathway for unwanted agricultural chemicals to reach the atmosphere and can cause adverse health consequences to people living near treated fields. Pesticide emissions can also negatively affect the efficacy of pesticides. Methyl bromide is an important soil fumigant for many agricultural commodities. Since methyl bromide depletes stratospheric ozone, its use will cease in the United States after the year 2005. Due to environmental concerns, replacement fumigants will likely face increased scrutiny in years ahead. Therefore, it is important to develop an improved understanding of the behavior of pesticides in environmental systems so that their emission into the atmosphere can be minimized, without loss of efficacy. This research has shown that combinations of plastic vapor barriers and soil amendments can be effective in reducing pesticide emissions.
Technical Abstract: Volatilization and soil transformation are major pathways by which pesticides dissipate from treated agricultural soil. Volatilization is a primary source of unwanted agricultural chemicals in the atmosphere and can significantly affect fumigant efficacy. Volatile pesticides may cause other unique problems; for example, the soil fumigant methyl bromide has been shown to damage stratospheric ozone and will soon be phased out. There is also great concern by persons living near treated fields about the health consequences from inhalation of fumigants. Since replacement fumigants will likely face increased scrutiny in years ahead, there is a great need to understand the mechanisms that control their emission into the atmosphere so these losses can be minimized without loss of efficacy. Recent research has shown that combinations of vapor barriers and soil amendments can be effective in reducing emissions. In this paper, some potential approaches for reducing fumigant emissions to the atmosphere are described.