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New Zealand Plant Protection 69 (2016): 324

Monitoring the concentration of methyl bromide in the treated space during commercial fumigation of logs

M.K.D. Hall, A.R. Adlam, A.J. Hall and A.J. Najar-Rodriguez


Development of science-based fumigation schedules for phytosanitary treatments relies on an understanding of the factors which influence the effectiveness of a fumigant under different conditions. Understanding the sorption characteristics of a fumigant is a critical step in establishing commercial treatment schedules, as this process, which involves adsorption and absorption of fumigant molecules, influences the concentration of the fumigant remaining in the treated space after fumigation and hence the amount of fumigant available to kill insects. We monitored the concentration of methyl bromide during commercial fumigation of three log stacks (average volume = 407.8 m3) with 120 g/m3 methyl bromide for 13 h under a tarpaulin. Pine (Pinus radiata D. Don.) logs were fumigated at South Port, Bluff (New Zealand) during April 2015. Gas samples from the treated space were taken at 0.5, 1, 2, 3, the treated space, indicating that the rest of the fumigant was sorbed. These data can now be combined with insect toxicity studies to guide the development of improved commercial treatment schedules to treat log exports from New Zealand.

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