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The 2011 ASHS Annual Conference

Systems Approach to Quarantine Treatments for Export Ornamental

Tuesday, September 27, 2011: 8:45 AM
Kohala 4
Arnold Hara, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hilo, HI
A major negative impact on quarantine security for export ornamentals has been the phase out of the highly effective fumigant, methyl bromide (MeBr), for its role in depleting the ozone layer.  Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allows the quarantine use of MeBr, state and federal quarantine agencies and private exporters have virtually ceased use of MeBr as its unavailability is imminent.  Presently, there is no single alternative to MeBr that equals its effectiveness on a wide range of pests and its non-phytotoxicity to ornamentals. Alternative postharvest disinfestation treatments (including washes and chemical dips, fogs and aerosols, heat treatments, controlled atmosphere, and irradiation) each have advantages and limitations.  None of these treatments alone will assure 100% quarantine security and provide marketable, high quality products for export. Currently, only the systems approach to quarantine security will assure minimum pest-risk and high quality products for most export ornamentals. The systems approach integrates field pest management practices, postharvest treatments, and final inspection into a unified quarantine protocol. Pre-harvest field control measures, such as biological, chemical, and/or cultural controls, can reduce pests to a level at which postharvest disinfestation treatments (heat, chemical dips, aerosols, controlled atmosphere, and irradation) are 100% effective in assuring no live pests.  Implementing the systems approach in ornamental production provides effective phytosanitation for quarantine security, which will allow export of high quality ornamental commodities to major global markets without risk of invasive pest introductions.