1. How has the fumigant market changed as methyl bromide (MeBr) has been for the most part phased out?
Horvath: There has been a tremendous amount of work initially to make the available MeBr stocks as efficient as possible. There have been innovations in plasticulture — virtually impermeable film and totally impermeable films — that enable the same degree of performance with significantly less MeBr. The number of available fumigants is a short list. Still, there are a few options, and some great work has been done with fumigant cocktails or co-applications to enable blends of different fumigants to deliver performance similar to MeBr. The concept of fumigant blends and the use of complementary herbicides were the foundation of our 79:21 Paladin soil fumigant plus chloropicrin, along with a topical herbicide solution.
2. In what areas are growers seeking the most help in MeBr alternatives?
Horvath: To a large degree, weed control is being managed with topical herbicides. Really, the most effective way to manage nematodes is with a good fumigant system. The benefit of something like Paladin soil fumigant is that it is a broad spectrum fumigant which delivers excellent nematode control, with the spill-over benefit of nutsedge and soilborne disease control. While there are non-fumigant approaches to dealing with some of these concerns, in most instances, fumigation is the most technically complete and cost effective approach to dealing with the problem.
3. What is new in terms of buffer zones for fumigant uses?
4. Are there any applications that can help growers with buffer zone calculations and distances?
Horvath: We have developed a mobile app for the calculation of Paladin soil fumigant buffer zones that can be downloaded from Paladin.com. The EPA has developed a “Soil-Fumigant Tool Box” that has a tremendous amount of information. EPA has indicated that a buffer zone calculator will be coming soon.
5. There are new rules for fumigant certification for applicators. Does this apply to Paladin soil fumigant?
Horvath: Yes. Paladin soil fumigant has a specific training program. We have developed an online training program for certified applicators in the U.S. For Florida specifically, we also are delivering this training in person. As to my recommendation for the best method, people are different, and web-based training will work for some, while others will prefer in-person training. In my opinion, these training programs should be designed around the needs of the grower.