Methyl Bromide Transition RFA has been released

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is pleased to announce the release of the Methyl Bromide Transition (MBT) Request for Applications (RFA). The MBT program supports the discovery and implementation of practical pest management alternatives for commodities and uses affected by the methyl bromide phase-out. This program focuses on integrated projects that use a systems approach to deliver short- to medium-term solutions and economic analyses for all commodities impacted by the loss of methyl bromide. The following link includes a synopsis of the funding opportunity, a link to the full announcement (RFA) and the application package: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=282730 . For programmatic questions, please contact Dr. Herbert Bolton (hbolton@nifa.usda.gov or (202) 401-4201).

Application Deadline:  May 31, 2016 

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New pesticide-free technologies help replace methyl bromide in greenhouses

Steam and heat technology and plastic trays have provided greenhouse tobacco growers with an effective and relatively inexpensive alternative to methyl bromide.

According to a story in Southeast Farm Press, greenhouse owners have finally ceased use of the fumigant methyl bromide, used for disease and weed prevention. However, EPA banned the use of methyl bromide several years ago and organized a gradual phaseout to allow growers and researchers time to find useful alternatives that would not cut into grower profits. Continue reading

EPA Takes Action Against Illegal Methyl Bromide Use in Puerto Rico

Contact: John Martin, (212) 637-3662, martin.johnj@epa.gov

As part of its ongoing work to address the illegal use of toxic pesticides containing methyl bromide in the Caribbean, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued legal complaints against two individuals and a pest control company in Puerto Rico for violating federal pesticides law (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, or FIFRA) and the Clean Air Act. From 2013 to early 2015, Edwin Andujar Bermudez, doing business as Truly Nolen Pest Control De Caguas, and Wilson J. Torres Rivera, the owner of Tower & Son Exterminating, Corp., fumigated residences and other unauthorized locations in several Puerto Rico municipalities with pesticides containing methyl bromide. The use of methyl bromide is restricted in the U.S. due to its acute toxicity and because it is an ozone-depleting substance. As certified applicators, Mr. Andujar and Mr. Torres face civil penalties under FIFRA, as does Mr. Torres’ company. Mr. Andujar and Tower & Son Exterminating, Corp. additionally face civil penalties under the Clean Air Act. Continue reading

EPA Solicits Proposals for a Funds Distribution Program for Pesticide Safety Education

EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs is soliciting applications for a cooperative agreement to distribute funds to Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEPs) at state Cooperative Extension Services for the education and training of certified pesticide applicators.

The recent tragedy involving the use of the highly toxic fumigant, methyl bromide, reminds us of the importance of proper training for certified applicators. EPA has provided funding to PSEPs since l975 with the goal of protecting people, ecosystems and the environment from the risk of pesticide-related illness and injury. EPA expects to provide up to $1 million annually, depending on the agency’s budget, for a total of five years.

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Methyl Bromide Transition RFA released

The FY 2015 Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program – Methyl Bromide Transition (MBT) RFA is now available for public viewing.

DEADLINE: May 4, 2015

NIFA Funding Opportunity Page: http://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/methyl-bromide-transitions

Grants.gov Page: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=275311. This page includes a synopsis of the funding opportunity, a link to the full announcement (RFA) and the application package.

EPA Registers New Nematicide Alternative to Restricted-Use Soil Fumigants, Including Methyl Bromide

The loss of methyl bromide has brought new challenges for some growers, so I thought I would post this news about a new tool in the toolbox.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is registering a new active ingredient, fluensulfone, a non-fumigant nematicide that provides lower-risk chemical control of nematodes than methyl bromide and other Restricted Use soil fumigants. Under the Montreal Protocol, EPA has phased out methyl bromide because its use depletes the ozone layer.

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USDA Grants Support Pest Management Research, Education and Extension Efforts

Media Contact:  Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced more than $30 million in support of research and Extension activities addressing pest management issues that have human health, environmental and economic consequences across the nation. The awards were made by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

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