Published Jun 1, 2015

Tweet, tweet… #dontdrift

By Liz Kolbe

Every day in June, @PracticalFarmer will tweet a photo of a PFI farmer with #dontdrift.

Pesticide drift is not an acceptable side effect of agriculture – it is against the law, and it endangers farmers, their families, workers, and communities they feed. Respect everyone’s right to farm in Iowa.

If you apply pesticides, take precautions to prevent drift (including waiting for better conditions).

If you see pesticide misuse, report it to the Pesticide Bureau at IDALS.

If you keep bees or grow specialty crops, sign up on the Sensitive Crops Directory.

If you want more information or have questions about pesticide drift in Iowa, check out these resources on the PFI website or get in touch with us:

From farmers:

“Every August I decide to move out of Iowa.”

“I watched them spray right over the guys working on the barn.”

“We did have the foresight to put my contaminated clothes in a bag, but we didn’t think to close the windows right away, in all the chaos.”

“They kept spraying. Said the damage had already been done.”

“We plowed in all the strawberries. We didn’t want to risk someone picking from the contaminated patch.”

“If I walked up and sprayed you in the face with an aerosol can of chemicals, I would be charged with assault.”

“It tasted like creosote; like the smell of a railroad tie.”

“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 and poisons our food?”

“We left the state of Iowa. When you consider the chronic exposure brought by multiplying the number of times different pesticides are applied to each field by the number of landowners within drift distance and the fact that nothing changes as a result of filing and validating multiple complaints, you give up. You decide you are not willing to cede decisions about your family‚Äôs well-being to a system that values wealth above health. So when the opportunity arrives to continue your career in agriculture somewhere safe from chronic exposure to agricultural pesticides, you pack your babies and your bags and you move as far away as you can. And you try not to look back at your friends who are still there.”

 

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