No silver bullet to replace Methyl Bromide
THE RACE TO FIND AN EFFECTIVE replacement for Methyl Bromide to treat export logs may have a lot longer to run, the Forest Growers Research conference in Christchurch was told.
Time is ticking. Methyl Bromide, which is used for fumigating logs exported to key markets like China and India, needs to either be replaced by October 2020, or a suitable method found to recapture it and prevent it escaping into the atmosphere.
But, according to Don Hammond, Chairman of STIMBR, the organisation charged with finding solutions for the Methyl Bromide conundrum, there is no reliable alternative or easy fix.
Methyl Bromide is still the most effective treatment and India still wants New Zealand log exporters to continue using it and while China has accepted some alternatives, none are the complete answer. Unfortunately, there is no easy or cheap way to recapture all the Methyl Bromide following fumigation, so other options continue to be explored.
Mr Hammond says it is likely that a suite of alternatives need to be employed to suit different markets and different circumstances. In the meantime, we should be engaging with our trading partners to help find solutions.