Devastating herbicide drift endangers vineyards

The Conscientious Omnivore

A few weeks ago, Harvest Public Media posted a story about how certain herbicides used on corn and soy fields, along with golf courses and lawns, can pose serious risks to the relatively small but growing number of Midwestern vineyards. As Grant Gerlock reports,

Occasionally, herbicides like 2,4-D drift beyond their target, and for nearby vineyards the results can be devastating.

2,4-D is a common herbicide used by farmers because it kills weeds but doesn’t kill their corn….

“Unfortunately, it just so happens that grapes are very sensitive to small amounts of 2,4-D,” said Lowell Sandell, a weed scientist at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

The problem is not direct spray, it’s herbicide drift. Drift can happen with any weed killer. A stiff breeze can carry tiny droplets from the sprayer in one field to the vineyard next door.

But 2,4-D and another chemical, dicamba, remain a threat for…

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