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Reducing Fumigant Emissions After Soil Application

December 2002 , Volume 92 , Number  12
Pages  1,344 - 1,348

S. R. Yates , J. Gan , S. K. Papiernik , R. Dungan , and D. Wang

First, third, and fourth authors: U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, George E. Brown Jr. Salinity Laboratory, 450 W. Big Springs Rd., Riverside; second author: University of California, Riverside; and fifth author: University of Minnesota, St. Paul

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Accepted for publication 23 July 2002.

Volatilization and soil transformation are major pathways by which pesticides dissipate from treated agricultural soil. Volatilization is a primary source of unwanted agricultural chemicals in the atmosphere and can significantly affect fumigant efficacy. Volatile pesticides may cause other unique problems; for example, the soil fumigant methyl bromide has been shown to damage stratospheric ozone and will soon be phased out. There is also great concern about the health consequences of inhalation of fumigants by people living in proximity to treated fields. Because replacement fumigants will likely face increased scrutiny in years ahead, there is a great need to understand the mechanisms that control their emission into the atmosphere so these losses can be minimized without loss of efficacy. Recent research has shown that combinations of vapor barriers and soil amendments can be effective in reducing emissions. In this paper, some potential approaches for reducing fumigant emissions to the atmosphere are described.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2002