Fumigation Factors For The Future

Soil fumigation is typically considered a necessary component of production for many crops grown in Florida such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and strawberries. Fumigation is the pre-plant treatment of soil with a broad spectrum pesticide for the control of soil-borne diseases, weeds, and nematodes. The objective of fumigation is to establish an adequate concentration of the fumigant in the pest zone and maintain that concentration for sufficient time to kill the target pest. Soil fumigants are typically liquid materials packaged under high pressure that volatilize into a gaseous form when released.

The most widely adopted fumigant was undoubtedly methyl bromide. Its use was considered common practice in raised bed plastic mulch systems throughout the Southern U..S until its mandated phase-out in 1993 by the Clean Air Act and Montreal Protocol. The final phase-out date for new production and importation was January 1, 2005. At that point, growers were still able to use available, existing stocks and new stocks approved through the Critical Use Exemption (CUE) process. Through the CUE process, states submit applications for limited amounts of methyl bromide usage where necessary for successful crop production. In Florida, CUE petitions are created and submitted by the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA) with help from growers, commodity representatives, researchers and extension agents. From 2005-2013 CUEs have been awarded for Florida tomato, strawberry, pepper and eggplant production. CUE allocations are measured as a percentage of the amount of methyl bromide produced in 1991, referred to as the 1991 baseline. Allocations have steadily decreased and have nearly diminished to zero in 2013 with only 2.2% of the 1991 baseline approved. There will be no CUE allocation available in 2014. In August 2013, a petition was submitted requesting allocations for 2015 (supplemental) and 2016. This includes a “rescue treatment” for methyl bromide for use in critical situations. The amounts requested represent almost a 90% reduction from the pre phase-out period.

Since the phase-out began, growers have slowly adjusted to the use of methyl bromide alternatives, with the majority of the industry completely relying on their use in 2013. The transition has not been seamless, and issues continue to arise with their long term use. In the early transition period, 2005-2008, many growers used existing stocks of methyl bromide. In 2008, it was evident that there were shortages in supply and the need for successful alternatives was apparent. Growers were surveyed in 2011-2012 to determine: 1) what alternatives they were using, 2) what pest problems are arising due to their use 3) what additional Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices are being implemented and 4) production losses associated with alternative use. Grower responses were used to develop a case for the “rescue treatment” and CUE petitions.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Fumigation Factors For The Future

Crop Protection Stories
Laurel wilt-damaged avocado tree leaves
Disease Control
September 15, 2017
Scientist Uncovers Chilling Side of Deadly Avocado Disease
Lab tests indicate laurel wilt pathogen grows faster in the fall and winter. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
September 13, 2017
Get Better Results From Your Biopesticide Program
Softer crop protection programs are becoming a must in specialty crop production. Growers who aren’t learning more about their options Read More
Packinghouse damage from Irma at SWFREC in Immokalee
Citrus
September 13, 2017
Florida Farmers Digging out From Impacts of Irma
Damage reports starting to flood in from the field following monster storm, and it's not pretty. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
September 11, 2017
The Grower’s Take: Citrus, HLB, and Biological Control
Uncle Matt’s Organic orange juice brand has enjoyed steady growth since its 2002 inception. The brand’s success is due to Read More
Insect Control
September 6, 2017
Vegetable Pest Populations Can Soar in High Tunnels, Study Shows
High tunnels alone are not enough to control pest populations, the study shows. To control pest levels, growers need to take other steps that allow ventilation while screening crops, and supporting natural predators. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
September 1, 2017
Dispelling the Rumors: Using Biologicals and Biochemicals in IPM Programs
Whether you’re a grower, packer, processor, or retailer, you have experienced the dramatic shift in consumer preference for sustainable practices Read More
Biocontrols Conference
September 1, 2017
Silicon: a Biocontrol Agent that Boosts Plant Immunity
Quality and profitability are two important factors that drive our agricultural markets. We have fine-tuned our cultivation processes over centuries Read More
CEU Series
September 1, 2017
CEU Series: Protect Crops and the Environment
Pay mind to your surroundings by practicing proper pesticide use. Read More
two-spotted spider mite
Citrus
August 25, 2017
California EPA Seeking to Review Chlorpyrifos
Department of Pesticide Regulation, Office of Environmental Health pursuing health protections. Read More
fall armyworm
Insect Control
August 24, 2017
Stop Fall Armyworm from Getting the Drop on Your Sweet Corn Crop
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this notorious pest. Read More
Assorted vegetables
Crop Protection
August 23, 2017
New Biological Fungicide Approved for Fruit and Vegetable Crops
Howler fungicide, developed by AgBiome, receives EPA registration for high-value, specialty crops. Read More
Insect Control
August 22, 2017
Stink Bug Threatens High-Dollar Crops in California
While populations are low, it appears invasive pest has recently stumbled upon the state’s peaches and almonds. Read More
Crop Protection
August 11, 2017
Do Fungicide- and Insecticide-Treated Seeds Boost Weeds?
The University of New Hampshire has received half a million dollars to investigate if seed treatments inadvertently protect weed seeds from its usual predators. Read More
Citrus
August 11, 2017
Field Scouting Guide: Common Lambsquarters
Take a look at these tips for identifying and treating this pervasive weed. Read More
Crop Protection
August 9, 2017
Why Some of the Most Dangerous Potato Diseases are Successful
If you understand the role oxygen, and its lack, plays in potato diseases, you'll be better equipped to battle them. Read More
The Latest
Biocontrols Conference
September 13, 2017
Get Better Results From Your Biopesticid…
Softer crop protection programs are becoming a must in specialty crop production. Growers who aren’t learning more about their options Read More
Citrus
September 13, 2017
Florida Farmers Digging out From Impacts…
Damage reports starting to flood in from the field following monster storm, and it's not pretty. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
September 11, 2017
The Grower’s Take: Citrus, HLB, and Biol…
Uncle Matt’s Organic orange juice brand has enjoyed steady growth since its 2002 inception. The brand’s success is due to Read More
Biocontrols Conference
September 1, 2017
Dispelling the Rumors: Using Biologicals…
Whether you’re a grower, packer, processor, or retailer, you have experienced the dramatic shift in consumer preference for sustainable practices Read More
Biocontrols Conference
September 1, 2017
Silicon: a Biocontrol Agent that Boosts …
Quality and profitability are two important factors that drive our agricultural markets. We have fine-tuned our cultivation processes over centuries Read More
Citrus
August 25, 2017
California EPA Seeking to Review Chlorpy…
Department of Pesticide Regulation, Office of Environmental Health pursuing health protections. Read More
Crop Protection
August 23, 2017
New Biological Fungicide Approved for Fr…
Howler fungicide, developed by AgBiome, receives EPA registration for high-value, specialty crops. Read More
Crop Protection
August 11, 2017
Do Fungicide- and Insecticide-Treated Se…
The University of New Hampshire has received half a million dollars to investigate if seed treatments inadvertently protect weed seeds from its usual predators. Read More
Citrus
August 11, 2017
Field Scouting Guide: Common Lambsquarte…
Take a look at these tips for identifying and treating this pervasive weed. Read More
Crop Protection
August 9, 2017
Why Some of the Most Dangerous Potato Di…
If you understand the role oxygen, and its lack, plays in potato diseases, you'll be better equipped to battle them. Read More
Crop Protection
August 3, 2017
Can Avocados Be Saved from Deadly Laurel…
Scientists from Florida and California are on the case and collaborating. Read More
Crop Protection
August 2, 2017
Report: 90% of NY Beehives Had Varroa Mi…
Cornell University's NYS Beekeeper Tech Team recent report also shows most hives are infected with Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), a disease linked to the mites. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
July 31, 2017
11 New Biocontrol Products You Need to K…
One of the highlights of the Biocontrols Conference & Expo Series is getting an early look at some of the Read More
Crop Protection
July 25, 2017
Vegetable Field Scouting Guide: Diamondb…
Due diligence is needed to help take down this pest of biblical proportions. Read More
Citrus
July 23, 2017
USDA Invests $7.6 Million toward Benefic…
Projects to promote beneficial organisms as part of a pest control strategy. Read More
Citrus
July 12, 2017
Tomato Pests Can Be Induced to Cannibali…
The University of Wisconsin's John Orrock says when beet armyworms are exposed to concentrations of methyl jasmonate, they will abandon eating tomatoes — and start eating one another. Read More
Citrus
July 12, 2017
USDA Pulls 8 Products from Approved Orga…
After a few months of speculation, the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has published its Sunset 2017 final rule on approved products for organic production and handling. Read More
Crop Protection
June 25, 2017
Study Suggests Closer-Proximity Lures He…
Research shows single-trap locations are not as effective as those kept close together. Read More