State convenes panel to seek pesticide alternatives for strawberries
With one fumigant on the way out and a potential replacement pulled from the market, the state's top pesticide regulator is looking to speed up research into alternatives to manage soil-borne disease and pests in strawberry fields.
Brian Leahy, director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, announced Tuesday the creation of a panel that will have until late fall to come up with a five-year action plan.
Leahy's action comes a month after the manufacturer of methyl iodide decided not to sell the controversial fumigant in the United States. That leaves farmers without an effective alternative to methyl bromide, an ozone-depleting fumigant being phased out under international treaty.