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Deteriorating radish crop emits an odor of methyl mercaptan

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  • Deteriorating radish crop emits an odor of methyl mercaptan

    Interesting phenomenon in our area of New York State... Over the past month, many of our local residents have been calling 9-1-1 reporting a smell similar to propane. For each call, fire personnel responded with a multi-gas detector to investigate the cause - the gas meter detected nothing and the firefighters were unable to determine the source. After further investigation, the cause of the smell was linked to a large cover crop of radishes in a nearby field. Apparently, radishes emit an odor of methyl mercaptan. Mercaptan is an odorant added to natural gas to give it its distinct smell. (http://www.soil1st.com/radish-will-smell-this-winter/)

    Who knew!


  • #2
    We've had that happen here, it's usually associated with certain weather patterns. It seems to happen when it gets unusually warm in the winter. It's pretty easy to tell because you'll get gas leak calls in areas with no possible source of gas.


    • #3
      Good to know that others have seen this. I'll have to follow the weather a little more closely this year...and ask the local farmers if they have planted any radishes as a cover crop!


      • #4
        Originally posted by Skojo View Post
        Good to know that others have seen this. I'll have to follow the weather a little more closely this year...and ask the local farmers if they have planted any radishes as a cover crop!
        You can tell which fields are planted usually by the leafy green cover that's about 6-12" high. The plants should be pretty consistent and even, that's how you can tell it's a crop and not just weeds.


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