Methyl bromide is a widely used fumigant for both pre-plant and post-harvest pest and pathogen control. The Montreal Protocol and the US Clean Air Act mandate a phase-out of the import and manufacture of methyl bromide, beginning in 2001 and culminating with a complete ban, except for quarantine and certain pre-shipment uses and exempted critical uses, in January 2005. In 1995, ARS built on its existing programs in soil-borne plant pathology and post-harvest entomology and plant pathology to initiate a national research program to develop alternatives to methyl bromide. The focus has been on strawberry, pepper, tomato, perennial and nursery cropping systems for pre-plant methyl bromide use and fresh and durable commodities for post-harvest use. Recently the program has been expanded to include research on alternatives for the ornamental and cut flower cropping systems. An overview of the national research program is presented. Results from four specific research trials are presented, ranging from organic to conventional systems. Good progress on short-term alternatives is being made. These will be used as the foundation of integrated management systems which begin with pre-plant management decisions and continue through post-harvest processing.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Insect Science