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Molasses an answer for methyl bromide’s exit?

For now, the acceptable substitute for methyl bromide has been methyl iodide, but those on the environmental fringe are also uncomfortable about it. So the stage is set for a compromise substitute, and the ARS research indicates that molasses might be it.

From the Hartford Sentinel:

Agricultural researchers have found promising data showing that molasses can control crop-destroying nematodes and weeds just as well as the banned pesticide methyl bromide.

Pre-planting fumigation with the soil-penetrating methyl bromide has kept both nematodes and weeds under control for years, especially in strawberries. However, freaked-out environmentalists have convinced oblivious lawmakers and other regulators to ban the fumigant worldwide, because they fear it depletes the earth's stratospheric ozone layer.

A number of respected agricultural researchers in California have ridiculed methyl bromide's banning, but to no avail. They have pointed out that natural degradation of seaweed in the earth's oceans is by far the major cause of changes in the ozone layer.

For now, the acceptable substitute for methyl bromide has been methyl iodide, but those on the environmental fringe are also uncomfortable about it. So the stage is set for a compromise substitute, and the ARS research indicates that molasses might be it.

For more, see: Ag At Large: When nematodes lurk, molasses to the rescue

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