Growers get extension on pesticide use - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Growers get extension on pesticide use

Saturday 8, 2003

Tift County- Vegetable farmers use methyl bromide to control insects, weeds and diseases that plague their crops.

A UN treaty signed in 1991 ordered the chemical to be phased out by the end of 2004, because of it's effects on the environment. After applying for critical exemption, a UN committee approved a usage of the fumigant through the end of 2005.

"By using methyl bromide we can produce better quality and better yields on our fruits and vegetables. Without methyl bromide our growers would probably lose $80 to $100 million a year out of a $680 million industry here in Georgia. So, for Georgia growers its a huge economic issue," says Horticulturist Terry Kelly.

Scientists have not yet developed an ozone friendly chemical to replace methyl bromide. They say the chemical causes only a small percentage of ozone depletion.

Posted at 4:30 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com