Chloropicrin Application Process


Click the video above to find out how chloropicrin is applied to crops and learn more about the importance of chloropicrin in producing healthy, locally-grown food in California.





Narrator: California farmers need healthy soil to produce healthy crops. Without healthy soil, crops fail and consumers lose access to locally produced fruits and vegetables. One of the most effective ways to help keep soil healthy is through the use of a fumigant called chloropicrin.

David Cox, L.E. Cook Company: Chloropicrin helps farmers and nurseries produce clean, healthy plant material, in a soil that is free of all pests, diseases, and pathogens. Clean soil is essential for the healthy production of California crops such as strawberries, walnuts, almonds, fruit trees, cut flowers, and even nursery stock.

Narrator: With the most stringent fumigation restrictions in the country, California requires an equally stringent preparation for the application process.

Licensed Applicator: The application process begins months in advance with a site-specific review, to determine the individual grower’s needs in order to prepare the soil properly for fumigation.

Narrator: Before the recommendation is made to the grower, a licensed applicator obtains a copy of the grower’s restricted materials permit and further inspects the site for application restrictions and conditions; which includes determining the location of residential and commercial areas, where special care is needed.

Licensed Applicator: Once the recommendation has been made to the grower, a notice of intent is submitted prior to application. The fumigation management plan, or “FMP,” is on site with location and size of the buffer zone.

Narrator: Immediately prior to the application, the licensed applicator ensures a complete copy of the approved fumigation management plan, recommendation, notice of intent, pesticide label, and emergency response plan are on site. He or she confirms that signs are posted at the outer edge of the buffer zones, and that everyone participating in the application has had the required handler training. The applicator also determines that wind, weather, and other application conditions are met.

Licensed Applicator: The application method is based on the grower’s individual needs. Chloropicrin is usually applied as a drip application or injected into the soil using a tractor.

Narrator: In a drip application, emulsified chloropicrin is applied through the irrigation drip tape, that’s buried several inches below the surface of the soil, and covered with a tarp. Alternatively, a different application method involves a tractor that drives across a field with a Nobel plow inserted into the soil at a prescribed depth. Chloropicrin is then injected into the soil through small nozzles along the bottom of the plow. In most cases a tarp is applied over the soil. For strawberry applications, tarps are always used for a further layer of protection. Within 24 hours from the time the application is completed, a notice of completion is provided to the grower that reports all application information, including the start and completion times and reentry interval. Within 7 days, a pesticide use report is also submitted to the county agricultural commissioner.

David Cox, L.E. Cook Company: Protection of our workers and the public health is paramount in our thinking. We work in these fields. We live in these communities. And we feed our families out of the local farms. It’s for these reasons that California nurseries and farmers have a great track record with chloropicrin. It’s been used safely in these field for well over 50 years.

Narrator: For more information, please visit