In the 10 months methyl iodide has been registered in California, no one in Monterey County has used it or even applied to use it, but the debate over whether anyone should is fresher than ever, the Salinas Californian reported last week.
The soil fumigant methyl bromide, which growers have depended on for decades, will no longer be available starting in 2015. Methyl iodide, a potential substitute, is a harmful chemical, but can be used safely with proper precautions, said UC Cooperative Extension weed scientist Steve...
Even as controversy continues to swirl about the use of methyl iodide in agriculture, the fumigant was used for the first time in California when it was applied to a one-acre Sanger chile pepper farm this month, the Fresno Bee reported.
The story, written by Robert Rodriguez, said the farm, northwest of DeWolf and North avenues, is owned by Sarkis Sarabian.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation approved the use of methyl iodide in December and created restrictions that include buffer zones, special training and tarps to contain the chemical.
"These are the strictest conditions in the nation,"...
Environmental and farmworker groups announced yesterday they have filed a lawsuit challenging the state Department of Pesticide Regulation's decision to register methyl iodide as an agricultural pesticide, according to reports in all of California's major media outlets.
The plaintiffs also appealed to newly inaugurated California Governor Jerry Brown to reverse DPR's decision, calling it "irresponsible and illegal."
Earthjustice and the California Rural Legal Assistance Inc. believe state pesticide regulators improperly cut off public comment on the chemical's approval, didn't listen to their own scientists and failed to use good scientific data in deciding to permit methyl iodide use in California...
Strawberries are considered the jewels of Monterey County, but their production numbers will probably drop with the phase-out of methyl bromide, a highly effective soil fumigant that depletes the ozone layer, according to an article in the Salinas Californian.
"It's a new world for strawberries," the story quoted Mark Bolda, farm advisor for strawberries and caneberries for UCCE in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties. After the phase out, "yields will go down and production will fall, but it's not Armageddon."
Bolda told the reporter that scientists have been...
Last week, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation approved the use of methyl iodide as a soil fumigant. The announcement prompted wide media coverage, with many stories noting the fact that a review by a group of scientists empaneled by DPR had recommended against methyl iodide registration.
Over the weekend, the Salinas Californian ran point-counterpoint articles that spelled out the arguments for and against agricultural use of the fumigant. The argument in favor was penned by