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California Agriculture, Vol. 48, No.3

Methyl bromide: no easy answers
Cover:  Preparing for the methyl bromide phaseout, strawberry researchers are studying the alternatives to the standard methyl bromide-chloropicrin soil fumigation. At this site in Watsonville, they are evaluating the efficacy of four other soil treatments – chloropicrin alone, 1,3-D plus chloropicrin, metam sodium and no treatment. This worker is culling and weighing fruit to determine how much of the total yield is marketable. Photo by Jack Kelly Clark.
May-June 1994
Volume 48, Number 3

Peer-reviewed research and review articles

After methyl bromide: No easy answers
by Editors
Full text HTML  | PDF  
Methyl bromide regulation: All crops should not be treated equally
by Cherisa Yarkin, David Sunding, David Zilberman, Jerry Siebert
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Methyl bromide is widely used as a soil fumigant, and its loss will be felt throughout the state. The heaviest economic losses are projected to hit strawberry growers in the Central and South Coast regions and nursery operations statewide.
Over the next 7 years, all agricultural uses of methyl bromide (MBr) will be phased out, in compliance with mandates from the US. Environmental Protection Agency and the UN Environment Programmed. This compound has been widely applied as a soil fumigant, and its loss will be felt throughout the state, though more in some crops and regions than in others. Research shows that the heaviest economic loss will be sustained by strawberry growers in the Central and South Coast regions and by nursery operations statewide. A phase-out beginning with the low-value uses of MBr would avert some of the inefficiencies implied by canceling all agricultural uses at once.
Cancelling methyl bromide for postharvest use to trigger mixed economic results
by Cherisa Yarkin, David Sunding, David Zilberman, Jerry Siebert
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Many exported crops are fumigated with methyl bromide prior to shipping to meet quarantine of importing countries. The ban on methyl bromide could alter trade, causing some California crops to shift from export to the domestic market.
The economic impacts of methyl bromide's (MBr) phaseout for postharvest fumigation vary widely among growers and, in the case of fumigation to meet quarantine restrictions, may vary widely from year to year. For walnuts, if processors use an alternative pest control strategy with a longer treatment time, a smaller supply of walnuts will be ready on November 7, a target date for shipping to Europe for the holidays. Cancellation of MBr could effectively eliminate access to export markets for cherries, peaches and nectarines until alternative quarantine treatments are approved by trade officials.
Soil fumigants provide multiple benefits; alternatives give mixed results
by M. McKenry, T. Buzo, J. Kretsch, S. Kaku, E. Otomo, R. Ashcroft, A. Lange, K. Kelley
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
The ban on methyl bromide is spurring the search for alternative methods for control of nematodes and other pathogens that inhibit plant growth. Applying chemicals with a portable soil drenching device can reduce the amount that escapes into ambient air, a concern associated with fumigants.
Since the 1950s growers have routinely used soil fumigants such as methyl bromide (MBr) and 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) before replanting orchards and vineyards. Fumigants double plant growth in the early years after replanting and provide several years of nematode relief when resistant rootstocks are unavailable. However, the recent suspension of 1,3-D and the mandated phase-out of methyl bromide by 2001 have clouded the future of fumigant use. To develop alternatives, we must first document the pest control value and plant growth benefit of fumigation. Over the last decade, we have initiated several 2-year field trials in replant sites in the San Joaquin Valley. Our results quantify fumigation benefits and point to the feasibility of some alternatives, including a portable soil drencher.
Growth regulator gives earlier harvest in artichokes
by Wayne L. Schrader
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Field trials have revealed that multiple applications of gibberellic acid produce an earlier and more uniform first harvest in annual artichokes.
Southern California growers raise artichokes from seed as annuals for a winter harvest to take advantage of the favorable winter market prices. However, this method of production ties up fields for 9 months because the plants mature at different times. Now trials have revealed that multiple applications of gibberellic acid produce an earlier and more uniform first harvest in annual artichokes.
Cutting off irrigation early may reduce almond hull rot
by Beth L. Teviotdale, Themis Michailides, David A. Goldhamer, Mario Viveros, Lisa Schmidt, Valeshia Hines
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Cutting off irrigation two weeks before harvest of a Kern County almond orchard substantially reduced damage caused by hull rot.
Cutting off irrigation two weeks before harvest substantially reduced the damage caused by hull rot in a Kern County almond orchard trial. The extent of leaf death was affected by the stage of hull split at which the fruit were inoculated, but not by the concentration of inoculum.
Screens deny specific pests entry to greenhouses
by James A. Bethke, Richard A. Redak, Timothy D. Paine
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Most of the screening materials effectively prohibited leaf miners, whiteflies and aphids from entering greenhouses.
Screens can exclude certain pests from greenhouses and therefore reduce the need for pesticides on greenhouse crops. They can perhaps also be used to create a small production area for biological control organisms within the greenhouse. When selecting a screen for either use, the pore size in the material is an important factor.
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California Agriculture, Vol. 48, No.3

Methyl bromide: no easy answers
Cover:  Preparing for the methyl bromide phaseout, strawberry researchers are studying the alternatives to the standard methyl bromide-chloropicrin soil fumigation. At this site in Watsonville, they are evaluating the efficacy of four other soil treatments – chloropicrin alone, 1,3-D plus chloropicrin, metam sodium and no treatment. This worker is culling and weighing fruit to determine how much of the total yield is marketable. Photo by Jack Kelly Clark.
May-June 1994
Volume 48, Number 3

Peer-reviewed research and review articles

After methyl bromide: No easy answers
by Editors
Full text HTML  | PDF  
Methyl bromide regulation: All crops should not be treated equally
by Cherisa Yarkin, David Sunding, David Zilberman, Jerry Siebert
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Methyl bromide is widely used as a soil fumigant, and its loss will be felt throughout the state. The heaviest economic losses are projected to hit strawberry growers in the Central and South Coast regions and nursery operations statewide.
Over the next 7 years, all agricultural uses of methyl bromide (MBr) will be phased out, in compliance with mandates from the US. Environmental Protection Agency and the UN Environment Programmed. This compound has been widely applied as a soil fumigant, and its loss will be felt throughout the state, though more in some crops and regions than in others. Research shows that the heaviest economic loss will be sustained by strawberry growers in the Central and South Coast regions and by nursery operations statewide. A phase-out beginning with the low-value uses of MBr would avert some of the inefficiencies implied by canceling all agricultural uses at once.
Cancelling methyl bromide for postharvest use to trigger mixed economic results
by Cherisa Yarkin, David Sunding, David Zilberman, Jerry Siebert
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Many exported crops are fumigated with methyl bromide prior to shipping to meet quarantine of importing countries. The ban on methyl bromide could alter trade, causing some California crops to shift from export to the domestic market.
The economic impacts of methyl bromide's (MBr) phaseout for postharvest fumigation vary widely among growers and, in the case of fumigation to meet quarantine restrictions, may vary widely from year to year. For walnuts, if processors use an alternative pest control strategy with a longer treatment time, a smaller supply of walnuts will be ready on November 7, a target date for shipping to Europe for the holidays. Cancellation of MBr could effectively eliminate access to export markets for cherries, peaches and nectarines until alternative quarantine treatments are approved by trade officials.
Soil fumigants provide multiple benefits; alternatives give mixed results
by M. McKenry, T. Buzo, J. Kretsch, S. Kaku, E. Otomo, R. Ashcroft, A. Lange, K. Kelley
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
The ban on methyl bromide is spurring the search for alternative methods for control of nematodes and other pathogens that inhibit plant growth. Applying chemicals with a portable soil drenching device can reduce the amount that escapes into ambient air, a concern associated with fumigants.
Since the 1950s growers have routinely used soil fumigants such as methyl bromide (MBr) and 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) before replanting orchards and vineyards. Fumigants double plant growth in the early years after replanting and provide several years of nematode relief when resistant rootstocks are unavailable. However, the recent suspension of 1,3-D and the mandated phase-out of methyl bromide by 2001 have clouded the future of fumigant use. To develop alternatives, we must first document the pest control value and plant growth benefit of fumigation. Over the last decade, we have initiated several 2-year field trials in replant sites in the San Joaquin Valley. Our results quantify fumigation benefits and point to the feasibility of some alternatives, including a portable soil drencher.
Growth regulator gives earlier harvest in artichokes
by Wayne L. Schrader
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Field trials have revealed that multiple applications of gibberellic acid produce an earlier and more uniform first harvest in annual artichokes.
Southern California growers raise artichokes from seed as annuals for a winter harvest to take advantage of the favorable winter market prices. However, this method of production ties up fields for 9 months because the plants mature at different times. Now trials have revealed that multiple applications of gibberellic acid produce an earlier and more uniform first harvest in annual artichokes.
Cutting off irrigation early may reduce almond hull rot
by Beth L. Teviotdale, Themis Michailides, David A. Goldhamer, Mario Viveros, Lisa Schmidt, Valeshia Hines
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Cutting off irrigation two weeks before harvest of a Kern County almond orchard substantially reduced damage caused by hull rot.
Cutting off irrigation two weeks before harvest substantially reduced the damage caused by hull rot in a Kern County almond orchard trial. The extent of leaf death was affected by the stage of hull split at which the fruit were inoculated, but not by the concentration of inoculum.
Screens deny specific pests entry to greenhouses
by James A. Bethke, Richard A. Redak, Timothy D. Paine
| Full text HTML  | PDF  
Most of the screening materials effectively prohibited leaf miners, whiteflies and aphids from entering greenhouses.
Screens can exclude certain pests from greenhouses and therefore reduce the need for pesticides on greenhouse crops. They can perhaps also be used to create a small production area for biological control organisms within the greenhouse. When selecting a screen for either use, the pore size in the material is an important factor.

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