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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #271727

Title: The Fate of Alternative Soil Funigants to Methyl Bromide

item Qin, Ruijun
item Gao, Suduan

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/25/2011
Publication Date: 12/5/2011
Citation: Qin, R., Gao, S. 2011. The Fate of Alternative Soil Funigants to Methyl Bromide. American Geophysical Union. Paper No. B51E-0451.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Soil fumigation is an important agricultural practice for the control of soil-borne pests. Since the phase–out of methyl bromide, due to its role in the depletion of stratospheric ozone, several alternatives such as 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), chloropicrin (CP), and dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) are being increasingly used. The major processes and factors affecting the fate of these chemicals are evaluated. The high volatility of fumigants leads to high emission loss when no proper containment is used. Recent tarping technology using low permeability films can significantly reduce emissions. Fumigant degradation rate becomes critical to the determination of fumigation rate that affects efficacy and residence time in soil. A series of laboratory incubation experiments were carried out to determine degradation rate of 1,3-D isomers, CP and DMDS in five different soils collected from California and Florida. Fumigant degradation rates depend highly on the amounts of fumigants in soil, chemical characteristics, and soil conditions. Fumigant degradation rate were found to increase for all fumigants as the fumigant amounts in soil decreased. The changes were smaller for 1,3-D isomers compared to CP and DMDS. In soils with the lowest application rate, the degradation rate of fumigants is in the order of CP > DMDS > cis-1,3-D > trans-1,3-D. Soil and environmental factors also affect fumigant degradation rate. These findings suggest that a proper application rate should be determined for specific fumigants in a soil when using low permeability tarp in order to achieve sufficient fumigation efficacy during a certain period of time while minimizing potential surge of emissions after tarp removal and/or long residence time in soil that may cause phytotoxicity or leaching.