Being a good neighbor: Dealing with farm spray | Living the Country Life

Being a good neighbor: Dealing with farm spray

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Watch your grapes

Listen to this radio show (MP3 download) or read below.

Radio interview source: Jim Gray, pesticide, feed, and fertilizer team leader, North Dakota Department of Agriculture

Drive through the rural areas during the growing season and you might see small planes diving, twisting, and turning so close to the ground you can see the pilot's face. They're crop dusters spraying herbicides and insecticides. Or, there might be a tractor pulling a pesticide sprayer. Many farmers rely on this practice to save their crops from noxious weeds and bugs.

We had to call the local co-op once when their truck was spraying the soybean field next to us and it was blowing over onto my strawberries. They stopped spraying right away. I don't think there was any damage to the berries. We were lucky. Some people can lose their entire garden or vineyard if this happens.

Jim Gray is a pesticide expert with the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. He says grapes are becoming one of the most popular acreage crops -- and also the most devastated by spray drift.

"Grapes are very sensitive to many of the weed management products commonly used," Gray says. "With a lot of the plant growth regulator herbicides, things like 2-4-D, it does not take much to do some serious damage."

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