Submitted to: California Agriculture
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Methyl bromide, a popular and effective crop fumigant, is being phased out in the United States and globally because of impacts on the ozone layer. Demand for a replacement chemical, 1,3-D (Telone), is expected to increase by up to 500% when methyl bromide is no longer available. However, not all California growers will be allowed to use 1,3-D, as its use has been restricted within townships to address air quality concerns. We estimated the impact of 1,3-D use restrictions after methyl bromide is phased out in 2005 and found them to be binding in several major production areas of California. Impacts will be greatest on strawberries. Only about one-half of California strawberries can use Telone. Other impacted crops are nurseries sweet potato, peppers, broccoli, and tomato.
Technical Abstract: The soil fumigant, 1,3-dichloropropene (Telone) will be used for several crops when methyl bromide is no longer available. In California, state regulations restrict the amount of Telone that can be used in a 36 square mile area (township) in order to limit cumulative emissions. These township caps will limit the land that can use this alternative fumigant. We used pesticide use data to project the impacts of the township caps. The most affected crop is strawberries, which is now the largest user of methyl bromide. Because strawberry production is concentrated in coastal areas with favorable climates, about two-thirds of strawberry plantings will not be able to use Telone. Broccoli, peppers, and nursery crops grown in those same areas will also be impacted. Sweet potato, carrots, and tomatoes grown in the central valley will also be impacted. Because tree and vine crops are replanted only every 7 - 30 years, only about 10% of their acreage will exceed the cap. Statewide, about 30% of the present fumigated land would not be able to use this product.