View Full Version : Something to read
10-17-2009, 10:40 PM
I've noticed over the last 5 years or so some damaged exactly described in the article. My father has had trees and plants die around his property and blames it on the newer versions of roundup and vapor drift on calm days.
Makes you wonder with some of the new regulations we will be seeing in ag will lead to more regulations in the green industry.
10-18-2009, 05:49 AM
Its not really RoundUp that I would be pointing the finger at. First of all, what kind of crops are being treated? For corn, soybean and grains, I know that potent sulfonylurea herbicides are used for weed control. The rate applied is often fractions of an ounce per acre and it does not take much to damage off target broadleaf vegetation. The Basis herbicide mentioned in the article would cause damage if if drifted. It is rimsulfuron and thifensulfuron. Uninformed people like to pick on paraquat, however the worst it would do if it drifted is burn spots into the leaves of the trees. Atrazine is not active enough to kill trees unless pounds per acre are sprayed directly under a tree.
I was not there, but it is my guess that the spray rig used flat fan nozzles operated at high pressure and low volume. I would also guess that the tractor was running at over 5 MPH. That is an acceptable way to apply paraquat if you need to do it cheaply and the worst way to apply a sulfonylurea if a few milligrams drifting onto a next door tree would kill the tree. For weed control in my area, I often apply sulfonylurea herbicides to turf. If not that, it is 2,4-D, Banvel or Turflon That turf often has flower beds around it and or in the middle of it, as well as trees. My application equipment uses low drift air induction nozzles operated at a pressure that minimizes off target movement of the product. I also do not spray if it is hot, humid and still or so windy that even the spray from an air induction nozzle is disrupted.
In Europe, just about all pesticides have labeling that specifies how a product may be applied. In cases of drift sensitive products, the label specifies that the product be applied with nozzles that produce a coarse spray pattern. A simple flat fan nozzle produces a fine spray pattern when operated at 25 PSI or higher. The XR Teejet nozzles are not much better unless operated at less than 25 PSI. However coverage and uniformity of pattern suffers under those conditions. I think ag applications will be first in front of the firing squad, due to the scale of and history of drift incidents. Lawn applications might be next, however that depends on how well we police ourselves. I do not like to hear about FalseBrown applying when the wind is blowing so hard that even the coarse drops from a Chemlawn gun are blowing all over the place. I know that application volume is your enemy if you are trying to save money. It is fact that drift is harder to control with low volume applications done fast. For me, the money I lose applying at 1 gallon per 1000 and 5 MPH or less is made up by not owing everyone around me for drift damage. Not to mention the possibility of being legislated out of existence. The sugarcane and pineapple growers have already made pesticides a bad word in Hawaii. The seed corn producers operating here have not done well to improve the image. All it would take is someone's trees and plants dying down wind of where I was. Then the DOA makes sure I am out of business and the statists at the legislature do their job to outlaw applications to ornamental areas. Remember Canada, New York and San Francisco, if you think it cannot happen.
10-18-2009, 11:26 AM
First off I've seen chemical drift from Roundup on many properties. The only reason I think it's roundup is because the application is when the corn or soybeans are established and it's the same time that roundup is applied. I know that the article didn't mention round-up, but I know that is one of the issues I've been seeing.
One thing about the article too, is the call for legislation on testing for toxicity in older adults and young children. The article brings up a good point about accepted levels of chemical exposure in adult men. I think this is the aspects of chemical application that might expose some of the harmful affects of chemical drift near schools and such. If the government decides to do the testing, then that's where I feel more control will come in and also translate into testing for the Green Industry.
I have no opinion either way. I'm originally a farm-boy and I understand the importance of chemical applications, and I also work in the Green Industry and see the overuse of chemical by the hands of, or the request of a customer. So I guess you could say I'm in the middle of the discussion.
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