Submitted to: Phytopathology Supplement; APSnet (Plant Pathology Online)
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/24/2005
Publication Date: 6/6/2005
Citation: Rosskopf, E.R., Chellemi, D. O., Burelle, N. K., Church, G. T. 2005. Alternatives to Methyl Bromide: A Florida Perspective. Apsnet Feature Article. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The use of methyl bromide as a soil fumigant has been important to crop production in Florida for nearly found decades. Since its discovery and implementation, methyl bromide has been consistently effective for control of nematodes, fungi, insects and weeds and has been used on more than 100 crops worldwide. Based on 1997 U.S. consumption records, 36% of pre-plant methyl bromide use took place in Florida crop production systems. It is considered essential for the production of eggplant, pepper, strawberry, watermelon and tomato in many locations. Strawberry, pepper and tomato account for nine, 23, and 62% of the soil fumigation uses in the state respectively. Nursery growers account for nine percent of the U.S. pre-plant consumption of methyl bromide. Based on its ability to deplete ozone, referred to as the ozone depletion potential (ODP) of 0.38 and lifetime of 0.7 years, methyl bromide has been classified as a Class 1 stratospheric ozone depletory. According to the Montreal Protocol it is to be phased out, except for critical uses, but 2005. Significant reductions have already been implemented. The search for alternatives to this fumigant has lead to reevaluation of materials that have been available for many years. Research has focused on developing effective combinations of materials as well as optimizing applications methodologies. In addition, new chemistries and biological control approaches are being developed in order to fill the critical gap that the loss of this fumigant represents.