EPA tool helps growers calculate buffer zones

From Southeast Farm Press

Soil fumigant labels changed in Dec. 2012, requiring applicators to calculate and stick to buffer zones around fields when applying fumigants. A lot of work by the Southeast vegetable industry and the Environmental Protection Agency went into basing the buffer zones’ distances on sound science. And a “toolbox” has been developed to help vegetable growers stay in bounds with the regulations.

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New Website on Soil Fumigants

As part of the EPA’s effort to build a more user-friendly website, we have compiled all of our information on soil fumigants into a microsite so that visitors can find the information they need more quickly and easily. The Soil Fumigant Toolbox contains material on

  • training,
  • fumigant management plans,
  • buffer zones and
  • other safety measures for the protection of agricultural workers and bystanders.

You will find background information on soil fumigants and links to fact sheets and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Research Foundation’s Soil Fumigation Manual, a national pesticide applicator study guide.

This toolbox will be useful to fumigant handlers and certified applicators, state and tribal agencies, and communities that may be affected by the fumigation of soil. It can be accessed at http://www2.epa.gov/soil-fumigants.

Georgia vegetable growers manage without methyl bromide

From Southeast Farm Press

For decades, Georgia vegetable farmers relied on the soil fumigant methyl bromide to control weeds, insects and nematodes, but recent changes in environmental regulations have led them to find replacements.

Stanley Culpepper, a weed scientist with the College of Agricultural of Environmental Sciences, has been working to find alternatives to the potentially ozone-damaging pesticide. The challenge has been finding something that is as easy to use and as effective as farmers’ old standby, methyl bromide.

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Section 406 Programs Part 3: Methyl Bromide Transitions

The Methyl Bromide Transitions program emphasizes commercial or field scale research targeting short- to medium-term solutions that will develop new alternatives to methyl bromide, result in registration and adoption of new alternatives, and/or minimize methyl bromide emissions.

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