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A. Seeking Alternatives to Soil Fumigant, Methyl Bromide

Narrator: This is Science Today. For years, strawberry fields have been fumigated with methyl bromide to control for a wide variety of pests. The Environmental Protection Agency has classified the odorless, colorless gas as an ozone-depleting substance and a national phase-out is currently underway. Soil specialist Husein Ajwa of the University of California , Davis , explains there are exemptions for agricultural users with no technically or economically feasible alternatives to methyl bromide.

Ajwa: What we are doing at this point is we are looking into alternative fumigants to methyl bromide, so as we help growers to cope with the loss of methyl bromide as a soil fumigant.

Narrator: Ajwa says the methyl bromide project is a collaborative effort between UC researchers and USDA scientists.

Ajwa: And each person has a different specialty. So, the collaboration between the UC faculty members and USDA scientists actually help us succeed in finding alternatives and replacing methyl bromide.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.