Farming Without Fumigants

California strawberry farmers have invested over $13 million in research to explore alternatives to methyl bromide, more than any other commodity group in the world. 

Soilborne diseases can be crippling for growers, as no effective postplant control exists. In 2008, California strawberry growers identified “Farming without Fumigants” as a research priority area. University, USDA, and CSC staff conduct research on cultural practices to mitigate soilborne disease to help growers stay profitable and preserve use of fumigant alternatives. Past research has focused on the efficacy of organic amendments in anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD), management of soil microbial communities to limit soilborne disease, and alternative production systems. 

Strawberry farmers continue to invest in researching fumigant alternatives and remain committed to implementing the toughest regulations in the world. For example, California is the only state in the nation that adds extra precautions at the state level through CalEPA and at the local level through the County Agricultural Commissioners. The extra state and local precautions do not exist in other states.

Strawberry field

Other Fumigation Research

Fumigation Emission Reduction

California growers have invested in fumigation emission reduction research, which has led to widespread adoption of totally impermeable film (TIF) for fumigant application, greatly reducing emissions of soil-applied fumigants.

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