Regulatory issues and fumigant availability may affect
replanting this year.
While replanting may not be currently on your mind, it is worth taking time now to start assessing whether you might need to fumigate your soils if you plan to replant in the next year or two. The landscape for fumigating soils is rapidly shifting.
The regulatory picture is changing along with the fumigants available; if you plan to fumigate, it is likely that you will need the services of a specialized applicator, who may be booked up well in advance of fumigation timeframes.
Methyl bromide (MeBr) as a preplant fumigant for almonds is no longer available (unless you have some pre-2005–manufactured MeBr on hand). As use of MeBr has diminished, the use of Telone® has been increasing. With this increased use, township caps are being hit more frequently — either in regions with high annual usage or when large acreages are to be fumigated.
Once the cap is hit, no further Telone can be used in that township for the remaining calendar year. In addition, if you haven’t fumigated in a while, it is important to know that the labels for compounds that include chloropicrin (e.g., Telone C35) have changed in the last year.
Growers are advised to plan early to improve their access to Telone, particularly in those areas where township caps for the soil fumigant might have been reached.