Tuesday, November 1, 2016

It's so important to avoid herbicide drift

Usually, the negative effects of herbicide drift (the wafting-in of a killing spray applied by a neighbor, which damages or kills your own crops) are limited to loss of your own crop, but in the bootheel of Missouri it can lead to human death. Two farmers got into an argument about drift and how it killed the neighbor's crops, and it led to one's being shot to death. The story is here.

I can understand how this could lead to a heated argument, after you put in so many hours planting and caring for a crop. The murder of a neighbor over it is a result of our gone-mad gun culture. But neighbors need to be MUCH more careful with their spray drift. Even better, NOBODY should be growing crops that require a killing spray, just to keep the crops alive--there are always alternatives. Just as we are far too quick to ask for a drug to address our own personal health symptoms, we are far too quick to spray inorganic poisons onto the earth, which have major unintended consequences. My own modern varieties of grapes (and my apples) never need spray of any kind.

But the overall takeaway is this: If you are planting grapes, which BTW are VERY sensitive to herbicides, it's best if you chose a site that is not farmland being treated with inorganic sprays. In the case of my Epona Farm, we're surrounded by native Doug fir forest, so spray is not an issue.

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