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Pesticide drift grounds for trespass!

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by abrightday, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. abrightday

    abrightday LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    An appellate court in Minnesota has agreed with an organic farmer that "pesticide drift" from a neighboring farm can be trespass.

    The ruling from the Minnesota Court of Appeals returned to district court a case brought by organic farmers Oluf and Debra Johnson, who claimed chemical pesticide spraying by the owner of land adjacent to theirs, the Paynesville Farmers Union Cooperative Oil Co., damaged them.

    The appeals court decision clears the way for the Johnsons to proceed with action to recover losses incurred over the years from the farm coop's spraying.

    Read more: Drifting pesticides basis for trespass case http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=326433#ixzz1TLMGCPQY
    Here we go,, watch the wind when you spray!!
  2. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,992

    This is the law enforced in Hawaii. Pesticides drifting off of a treatment site onto another property is trouble for me. Runoff from a treatment site is also my problem. Therefore, no spraying in winds over 15 or before, between or during heavy rain.
  3. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,222

    Interesting, I'm surprised it went to an appellate court. I thought this was case law already.
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    You mean .... being a responsible applicator?
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    20 years ago this was TV Movie material, Perry Mason type of stories etc. I am also surprise to see it in the news let alone appellate court.

    But this does bring up the Legal point of how we all Spread & Spray just a Tad over the Property line. One place I really go over board is on Flea jobs where the house next door is in foreclosure. The heavy over growth is what gave the fleas a chance to infest the neighbor. I therefore Fire hose down that property without any permission from the rightful owners.

    I am Guilty of not really knowing how the run off or Drift laws here in Florida effect me other than Label Law. In this Sue crazy super Tree Hugger Granola nut world I think it might be wise to look into my liability.
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,705

    I am thinking the organic farm is run by a super sensitive person. And perhaps the organic farm certification person, whoever that is, is being super sensitive. They may both be going way beyond reason. Remember the comments that the odor caused them to get sick. That is an indication of a psychological component. Consider the many tests and long experience with rats and so forth which do not get sick at hundreds of times greater concentrations. They were "forced to plow-under the first hundred feet." Dead plants? Curled leaves? Forced by the organic-farm inspector? Were they talking parts per million? Parts per billion? Is there a residue in the soil that can be detected?

    Still, why would the co-op be so clumsy, particularly knowing that the organic people would complain? (again.) Does the co-op operate a farm or just sell chemicals? Spray dandelions? Aerial application? How much wind? 5mph? 15mph?
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    That is why we call them Granola Fruits and Nuts.

    But I believe this might be a case of the co-op could have cared less.

    But the privacy of a man's land or his home is his castle is the American Dream. No one has the right to trespass on your property in the Air or in the ground. While I am far from being a tree hugger this is one case I will stand up for their rights. However I do believe Orgasmic people should be given there own section.
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,992

    I think I will take the idea of the co-op could care less. In Hawaii, this would not have to even go to court. DOA would simply investigate, fine for label violations concerning deposit of product off target and mandate restitution to the damaged party. This happens on the first reported offense. Now it is understandable why I will not spray anything in high winds.
  9. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,222

    While I agree that maybe the organic folks go a little overboard, it is their property and their right to do so.

    I read the story (finally). It's obvious the co-op could have cared less about what they were doing. This wasn't a one time thing, it happened numerous times and it sounds like the organic folks did their part by posting, notifying, providing buffer strips etc. to prevent problems.
  10. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,992

    Yes. Which is why the concept of a national company being out here waving a Chemlawn gun or even using a backpack sprayer when the wind has been blowing 20-30 for the past 3 months and is going to continue blowing is a non starter. Or applying right before it is going to rain 4" per hour later that day. The DOA does not care what is on a schedule. I have had some sharp words about "schedules" with clients. A "schedule" does not mean a damned thing to me if weather conditions are not correct.

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