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Soil Fumigant Pesticides Now Subject to New Regulatory Measures (Aug. 25, 2010)

Within the next 4 months, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will provide their final approval of all soil fumigant labels, implementing the next phase of new soil fumigant mitigation measures. With these new regulations, producers using soil fumigants must abide by stronger restrictions and mitigation regulation, all of which will be noted on the pesticide label. In Yuma County, most soil fumigants are used in spring and fall melon crops. And, as melon ground preparation begins immediately following produce, itís important to understand these new requirements, before the upcoming spring melon season.

The soil fumigants that fall under these new EPA regulations include: chloropicrin, dazomet, 1,3-dichloropropene, iodomethane, metam sodium/potassium, methyl bromide, and methyl isothiocyanate (MITC). One notable change is that all soil fumigants will now be classified as restricted-use pesticides (RUPs). This includes metam sodium and dazomet, which previously were not classified as RUPs. This also means that any applicator in Arizona who wishes to use soil fumigants will need to become certified before they can apply them.

Other new mitigation measures include: additional worker protection measures, written fumigant management plans, registrantsí stewardship and training programs, mandatory good agricultural practices, buffer zones and buffer posting, and emergency preparedness and response measures.

Details of these new regulatory measures will be presented at the Preseason Vegetable Workshop in Yuma next Tuesday morning (8/31) at 11:30 AM (click here to see the agenda). And, a special soil fumigant workshop which addresses each new requirement is current being planned for later this fall.

To contact Kurt Nolte go to:



For questions or comments on any of the topics please contact Marco Pena at the Yuma Agricultural Center.
College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

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