Pesticide drift is persistent problem for organic farmers - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Pesticide drift is persistent problem for organic farmers

Posted: Updated:
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Organic and specialty crop growers are trying to make a living off the rising consumer interest in locally grown and organic foods.

But the smaller farms are often islands surrounded by a sea of conventionally grown crops that get sprayed with herbicides, insecticides and fungicides.

Pesticide drift is a serious concern for them, and they've come up with a variety of defenses.

Many plant buffer strips. Twelve states participate in a registry of organic and other farms to tip aerial and ground sprayers off to areas they need to avoid. And in Iowa, a group has produced a pamphlet that instructs farmers how to protect vulnerable crops.

The aerial spraying industry and pesticide manufacturers, meanwhile, say they've made big strides in controlling drift through education and new technologies.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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