Published Jan 17, 2014

IDALS Case File Summary: Pesticide Drift 2008-2012

By Liz Kolbe

Summary of Public Record:

IDALS Pesticide Bureau Case Files for Alleged Spray Drift
to Organic, Fruits and Vegetables, and Horticulture
Compiled Summer 2013 by Practical Farmers of Iowa


Pesticide spray drift is the top concern for fruit and vegetable growers in the membership of Practical Farmers of Iowa. As part of our exploration into spray drift and at the request of our members, Practical Farmers compiled this summary from hard copies of case files stored at IDALS Pesticide Bureau. Pesticide drift cases are public record, but no summary exists to portray an overall picture of drift occurrences on fruit and vegetable farms that have been reported to IDALS. The 58 files summarized here represent spray drift incidents reported to IDALS and classified as “organic,” “fruits and vegetables,” or “horticulture” that occurred 2008-2012. Other categories of spray drift (non-organic field crops, non-agricultural, etc.) case files were not examined, and no estimates are available for the numbers unreported spray drift incidents. As of October 2, 2013, IDALS has received 191 incident reports of alleged pesticide misuse in the 2013 crop year.

The linked report also includes definitions of the Pesticide Bureau’s enforcement options and the penalty decision matrix for private and commercial applicators. 

Practical Farmers of Iowa is committed to helping interested parties work together on this issue to protect the safety and livelihood of all Iowa farmers and rural citizens.

Upcoming spray drift discussion opportunities with PFI:

– Annual Conference Sessions (Saturday, January 25, 2014) (Full Brochure):
– Over the fence: Discussing spray drift with neighbors (11:30-12:30)
– U-Pick: Policy to protect people and land from pesticide drift (3;30-4:30)

– Winter Farminar: February 25, 2014: “Pesticide Drift: Response and Compensation” – Rob Faux
Learn how an organic vegetable and livestock farm has responded (and continues responding) to pesticide drift.