Southern Crop

Southern Crop

Methyl Bromide – Minimizing Use and Finding Alternatives

Methyl Bromide – Minimizing Use and Finding Alternatives – The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is seeking grant funding applications from colleges and universities for its Methyl Bromide Transitions program which “… addresses the immediate needs and the costs of transition that have resulted from the scheduled phase-out of the pesticide methyl bromide. Methyl bromide has been a pest and disease control tactic critical to pest management systems for decades for soilborne and postharvest pests. The program focuses on integrated commercial-scale research on methyl bromide alternatives and associated extension activity that will foster the adoption of these solutions. Projects should cover a broad range of new methodologies, technologies, systems, and strategies for controlling economically important pests for which methyl bromide has been the only effective pest control option. Research projects must address commodities with critical issues and include a focused economic analysis of the cost of implementing the transition on a commercial scale …” – NIFA anticipates having approximately $1,800,000 in total available grant funds for the program in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 with an award ceiling of $500,000.

Document Title: The title of the February 28, 2017 USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Grant Funding Opportunity Announcement is “Methyl Bromide Transition Program”

Organization: USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Source: February 28, 2017 USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Grant Funding Opportunity Announcement Number USDA-NIFA-ICGP-006245

Applications Due By: April 25, 2017

Web site: The February 28, 2017 USDA NIFA Grant Funding Opportunity Announcement is posted at

The full Request for Applications (RFA) is posted at
* Specifically at

Information about the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide is available at

Contact: Questions may be directed to Herbert Bolton who is the National Program Leader with the Division of Plant Systems-Protection, a unit of the USDA NIFA Institute of Food Production and Sustainability at 202 401 4201; fax: 202 401 1782; e-mail:

Summary: The following information is taken from the February 28, 2017 USDA NIFA Request for Applications:

  1. Program Area Description

The MBT program supports three project types:
* Integrated projects focus on research for new alternatives and extension to encourage adoption and implementation of methyl bromide alternatives.
* Extension-Only projects increase levels of adoption and implementation of pest management strategies by producers and growers.
* State of the Commodity projects provide in-depth scientific and economic system review of how commodities have been impacted by the loss of methyl bromide. These projects should address the economic and pest management outcomes resulting from the transition from methyl bromide for a given commodity or process identified as a “critical use” between 2006 and 2016. These projects should be integrated projects.

Program Area Priority

In FY 2017, the MBT program seeks applications for projects to ensure that economically viable and environmentally sound alternatives to methyl bromide are in place and available as soon as possible for commodities that have been impacted by the phase-out of methyl bromide. Applications also will be accepted to find alternatives for commodities that have current Quarantine and Pre-shipment (QPS) Exemptions. All applications must include an economic analysis of the alternative methodology, and must describe the methods to evaluate the cost/benefit of making the transition to adoption of the new strategy and provide a clear economic analysis of all aspects of implementation of the new strategies.

Projects supporting the transition to an alternative type of cropping/storage/processing system that avoids the need for disinfestation with methyl bromide (e.g., transition to a covered system using soilless culture) will be considered if the alternative has the potential to serve as a viable short to medium-term solution for operations that are currently dependent on methyl bromide or have been impacted by the phase-out of methyl bromide.

Proposals that address integrated pest management issues in commodities not affected by the phase-out of methyl bromide and research-only proposals may be more appropriate for the Applied Research and Development Program Area of the Crop Protection and Pest Management program ( ).

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