Reducing export costs and trade risks are key benefits of a PGP programme that aimed to reduce the use of methyl bromide as a fumigant for the treatment of exported forest and horticultural products.
The STIMBR programme ended on 30 June 2014. A link to the programme's final report is available on this page.
The STIMBR programme set out to research sustainable and effective alternative phytosanitary and biosecurity treatments for the fumigant methyl bromide, which is used for New Zealand logs and other primary sector products exported and imported. Methyl bromide is an ozone depleting substance, approved for quarantine and phytosanitary treatments.
The programme explored alternative fumigants, to reduce methyl bromide emissions and non-fumigant treatment options for methyl bromide. The programme achieved the following:
Implemented a nationwide monitoring protocol and methyl bromide reporting system to report annual methyl bromide use to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Developed possible methyl bromide recapture/recycling technology that is a candidate for commercial development.
Confirmed ethyl formate as a promising fumigant for kiwifruit (and by default other horticultural crops).
Identified that methyl bromide fumigation rates may be able to be reduced by 40 percent.
Prepared a model of the dispersion plume and methyl bromide concentrations following fumigations.
Developed a proof of concept for Joule Heating technology as a possible niche phytosanitary treatment for high value logs.
Developed gold standard approaches to fumigant research
Developed techniques for establishing self-sustaining colonies of wood boring insects held in captivity and utilised for research.
Developed an understanding that there is no single alternative for methyl bromide and that a number of tools and technologies will be needed to fully replace it.
The work completed by the programme will allow industry to keep up the good momentum as it seeks alternative treatments for methyl bromide and the development of technologies to reduce emissions to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2020 deadline for no release of Methyl Bromide to the atmosphere.
Programme start: September 2011 Programme end: June 2014 Length: 2¾ years Total programme cost: $2.65 million PGP funding paid: $1.19 million Commercial partners: Stakeholders in Methyl Bromide Reduction Inc
STIMBR Stakeholders in Methyl Bromide Reduction Incorporated Primary Growth Partnership Programme - Final Report June 2014
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