The Almond Alliance has been meeting with Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) on their initiated 1,3-D pilot programs in three areas of the state: Shafter, Kern County; Parlier, Fresno County; Delhi, Merced County. The objective of the pilot programs is to evaluate growers and applicators with alternative methods of achieving emission reductions of 1,3-D comparable to tarping. DPR put forth 13 proposed mitigation measures including buffer zones, TIF tarping, soil moisture depth, water seals, amended injection depths and more.
The Almond Alliance has been engaged in numerous discussions with DPR on this issue and has mobilized our membership to provide feedback and have detailed discussions on why several of the proposed options are not procedurally and economically feasible. We have been clear that our industry needs this fumigant for treatment of nematodes during the replanting of almond trees.
In August of this year, the Almond Alliance submitted a detailed letter to DPR summarizing the almond industry’s concern about the proposed pilot options and why several should not be considered at all. To review letter, CLICK HERE.
DPR has asked that we identify 2 to 3 orchards to evaluate during replanting this fall/spring and will be applying Telone as a soil fumigant. Would you be willing to have your site be a part of an assessment of some fumigant off-gassing reduction measures that DPR would like to assess? If yes, or even if you think your site might not meet the DPR criteria, you should speak with the Almond Alliance and DPR. An ideal orchard is one with no other surrounding orchards, specifically upwind/downwind as DPR needs to have space for the equipment to measure what is emitted into the air.
While some wanted DPR to move to additional regulation of Telone right away based on the air monitoring data, DPR decided to do some “pilot studies”, partially buying a bit of time. In the process, DPR realized that they needed additional field monitoring data on the off gassing of Telone under different conditions to improve their models, as well to assess the off-gassing if some new mitigation measures were employed. Thus, the hunt for appropriate sites with good grower cooperators. However, if additional sites with growers willing to cooperate cannot be found, DPR will move forward regulating based on the limited data they already have. That will lead to a significant increase in locations where Telone cannot be used and/or only with the use expensive TIF tarps.
The proposed emissions mitigation measures include:
- Getting soil moisture in the top 6-9 inches to 70% water holding capacity as a water seal.
- Injection the fumigant at 24-28 inches rather than at 18 inches.
- Mixture of one of the above and strip TIF tarps.
If your site meets the desired conditions – particularly no orchard immediately adjacent to the location and you are willing, we are asking that you discuss the possibility with your soil fumigant applicator company and contact Elaine Trevino at 209-300-7140.