Published Mar 11, 2014

Pesticide Drift: I would love to leave Iowa…

By Liz Kolbe


After reading Pesticide Drift: Pack up your babies and your bags… this Iowan anonymously submitted their story:


“We were also sprayed by a crop duster this past year. I called and had an investigator come out from IDALS. Because of health issues and costs of buying organic foods, we started to grow our own. I canned the vegetables in question because our investigator said it would take 6 months to get test results back. I marked and stored these in a separate space hoping we hadn’t been sprayed. We received our report and we were sprayed and are still awaiting the investigators final report.

This crop duster was spraying a field that was nowhere near our property. I have photographs of how low this plane was flying and now the report. If our property was sprayed, so was the creek that is near our property.

While starting my seeds this year, I question if this is going to happen to us again. Am I wasting all my time and energy when in one afternoon, a plane flies over us and poisons our food source? We have free range chickens and do not use any chemicals on our property. I have told my husband I would love to leave Iowa, but our family is all here. We are teaching our grandchildren how to grow food and process the bounty.

We do have a good neighbor that calls when spraying and he does understand the importance of this. If it is windy, he will come back another day. He placed a very nice buffer zone around our small acreage when we moved in. The farmer who hired the crop duster was very rude the day the spraying occurred. The local sheriff was the one that found out who had been spraying. We are growing heirlooms and organics.

My wish is to end this crazy mono-crop agriculture practice in Iowa. It is harming our beautiful state and our health. When we have our fill of our garden our intent is to share with the food pantry in a nearby town. I could not give extra away last year as I was uncertain whether they were poisoned or not. I wouldn’t even let my chickens eat the questionable vegetables. We cannot continue poisoning our environment, our children and our communities. This is not a sustainable practice. We have lost countless trees in our area as well.

In conclusion, I will plant our gardens again because I have hope. I don’t want to give up just yet.”