Prepare for Pesticide Spray Season - Part I


| 3/13/2013 11:23:00 AM


Tags: pesticide drift, sustainable agriculture, pesticide exposure, environmental toxins, Jane Heim,

The Pesticide Spray Business (everything connected with monoculture farms is a “business”) is pretty quiet in the winter. That’s when we can draw a deep breath, (hopefully free of chemicals), curl up and plan our summer's perfect garden, re-read past issues of Mother Earth News, and peruse books on raising livestock or back yard chickens.

Come spring, though — watch out. The farmers fill up their tanks and away they go — no matter if the wind is gusting over 20 mph…right toward your pesticide driftproperty. Not all farmers throw caution to the wind, so to speak, but even one applicator who disregards the pesticide spraying label is one too many.

If you have had pesticide drift on your property in the past, or suspect you have had, then now is the time to prepare yourself for the new 2013 Pesticide Spray Season.

First things first, of course. What is a pesticide? “Pesticide” is the catch-all word that includes herbicides, insecticides and fungicides.

What is Pesticide Drift? “Pesticide drift” is the movement of a pesticide through the air away from the intended target. You might actually see the drift in the form of a mist. You may smell it. But it can be invisible and odorless. The spray may be applied from the back of a tractor — referred to as a “rig.” Or it may be applied from a spray plane or helicopter.

There is also the possibility — especially if you work away from your property — that you may not see the actual pesticide spray applied to a nearby field. You may notice it only after the fact, by observing your plants or trees wilted, curled or discolored.

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robert krayer
3/25/2013 1:32:24 AM

As a beekeeper I'm always on the lookout for the application dates. I keep my hives on the local farms. The farmers and I have a very good relationship. It's understood that I need to know when the spraying is going to take place and the the field workers know when to apply the sprays. If not I can see terrible affects of the fungicide/pesticides/ and or herbicides. Also, keeping bees registered with the state is an advantage for me. When it's mosquito spraying season I am notified. The spraying takes place at night. I'm given plenty of notice to prepare the hives for the mist that will follow. The best thing I can do without moving the hive (that's a pain) is to place sheets over the hives. It helps, but isn't the greatest. It's a terrible feeling when a beekeeper gets permission from farmers to keep hives on their grounds only to find dead colonies because of improper spraying. I've heard stories but, it hasn't happened to me because of my open communication with the farmers. :) Lastly, homeowners are actually the worst. They just spray whatever they want, whenever they want. A friend of mine lost his two colonies because a neighbor sprayed the lawn to kill grass before re-seeding.


joe kuder
3/23/2013 4:34:56 PM

1998 my property in williamstown nj was hit with herbicide and pesticide from the untrained mexican field hands spraying the field of sweetpotatoes across the rd. fom us. first signs where fish in my pond died 2 young puppies i had started walking around like they where drunk 1 of them started having seizures. beware you might think the country is a safe place to live. it aint


donna marquart
3/22/2013 4:12:36 PM

How does the passing of the recent Ag bill with the Monsanto rider - protecting Monsanto from federal courts work with this type of arrogant behavior. When does it ever stop with this - guess it is too ingrained in our economy. Oh well, when the bees are gone, so is the pollinating. Like the Halliburton loophole, those who make the mess are absolved from telling the people they poison anything.


valerie larm
3/22/2013 2:04:18 PM

After losing 4 hives of bees last year, I'm trying this year to be notified by the local Co-op or the airport a day ahead of crop dusting so I can keep my bees in for a day. So far I don't have assurances that I will be notified. Beekeeper in Mid-MO.





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