Drifting Pesticides Wreak Havoc on Nearby Vineyards

3 years 5 months 4 days ago September 24, 2013 Sep 24, 2013 Tuesday, September 24 2013 Tuesday, September 24, 2013 7:40:00 AM CDT in News
By: Catie Laylin, KOMU 8 Reporter

ROCHEPORT- Now that fall has arrived, farmers are starting to harvest their crops. But some farmers are struggling to keep their crops due to harmful pesticides.

For Missouri wineries, the pesticide 2,4-D can be deadly toward their vineyards. Les Bourgeois Vineyards learned a few years ago how bad the effect of 2,4-D can be on crops.

"The worst damage we've had is probably 25 percent leaf loss," Cory Bomgaars, vice president at Les Bourgeois, said. "Now at that point we got the highway department in, the Department of Ag in to look at it. What we've done over the last ten years is really educate our local highway department not to spray within our area. And we also help them out where we will mow some of the highway right away so we are not just passing that cost onto the State Highway Department because of our crops. We work in conjunction with them to make sure it's cleared, and they're not using their spray."

Pesticides like 2,4-D are not just used on weeds, but also to manage crops like corn and soybeans. When farmers spray their crop, the pesticide can drift over to other farms. If the drift lands on another cropland, like a vineyard, it can delay ripening or even destroy everything. The leaves become shriveled and can ruin the wine's sugars hurting the taste of the wine. If the damage is slight (like on the leave), they can just be plucked off the vine. But if the herbicide gets in the vines, that is when major problems occur and the vines won't grow anymore.

Bomgaars recalls how a new vineyard last year lost their entire crop to herbicidal drift. That is what happened to the small Missouri winery, Windy Wine Company near Kansas City.

"Shortly before Memorial Day weekend, we noticed signs of herbicide damage on our crop, on our vineyard," Kraig Keesaman, owner of Windy Wine Company, said. "Within that week we lost our crop... they just shriveled up and lost their fruit."

It was a loss of both money and time. He'd waited four years for his vines to grow, but the drift ruined his plants. He plans on starting over with all new vines.

Keesaman is working with the Department of Agriculture to help him find the location of the drift. He said herbicidal drift prevention can be as simple as just choosing a time to spray when it's not windy or when the weather isn't susceptible to drift. There are also other alternatives that homeowners or farmers can use instead of herbicides.

"Some of the sprays they use are very powerful sprays. If they don't follow the rules and laws they are supposed to, then it hurts other people's business. And it's all fully preventable. There's different alternative methods than dousing your fields with chemicals. "

Keesaman and Bomgaars agree that drift isn't always caused by farmers. Bomgaars said there aren't any farms near Les Bourgeois even though they experience some small drift. He said drift probably comes from residential areas too. Keesaman warns residents who do use pesticides to be wary of how and when they use it, and think about how the chemicals can affect others' crops.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - "Not enough time" is one of the most frequently-used reasons to not exercise. What if I told you... More >>
1 hour ago February 27, 2017 Feb 27, 2017 Monday, February 27 2017 Monday, February 27, 2017 12:59:00 PM CST in News
ST. JAMES (AP) — An elderly husband and wife are dead after a head-on crash in central Missouri. The... More >>
4 hours ago February 27, 2017 Feb 27, 2017 Monday, February 27 2017 Monday, February 27, 2017 9:46:22 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 32-year-old St. Louis native is a key player in President Donald Trump's White House. ... More >>
4 hours ago February 27, 2017 Feb 27, 2017 Monday, February 27 2017 Monday, February 27, 2017 9:43:50 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police say one of the victims of a double shooting has died. ... More >>
7 hours ago February 27, 2017 Feb 27, 2017 Monday, February 27 2017 Monday, February 27, 2017 7:07:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Republican lawmakers continue at odds over the Real ID Act . One side of the argument seeks to... More >>
14 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 11:30:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - As President Donald Trump prepares an alternate version of a temporary travel ban on refugees and members of... More >>
20 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 6:00:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Planned Parenthood opponents are planning a month of protests after a march that drew between 50 and 100... More >>
20 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 5:57:00 PM CST in Continuous News
ST. CHARLES (AP) — A Missouri woman has pleaded guilty to neglect after authorities say she left her 2-year-old boy... More >>
20 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 5:30:30 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA- Local dog boarding facilities are amping up their luxury of care for your pet. Several big city boarding... More >>
1 day ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 11:23:11 AM CST in News
HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say they've arrested a suspect in connection with a weekend shooting death south of... More >>
1 day ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 9:37:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Residents of older homes in Columbia could be eligible for free water testing for lead. The My... More >>
1 day ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 8:58:00 AM CST in News
LACLEDE COUNTY — A man accused of assaulting and sexually abusing his 5-month-old daughter nearly eight years ago finally has... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 11:02:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — United Airlines flight schedules posted to its website Saturday night showed two new flights out of Columbia Regional... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:48:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., announced Saturday that his local office space will be relocated from its current... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:11:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — This weekend Missourians came together to give the Loos family a home makeover. Rhyan Loos, 7, was... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 7:21:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — There is a significant "values gap" between employers and the millennials who work for them, according to a... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 7:05:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Boone County experienced at least a dozen fires Feb. 18, a number that did not surprise fire officials.... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 5:00:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — People from all over mid-Missouri gathered at the Miller Performing Arts Center Saturday to listen to local... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 4:00:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 62°
3pm 64°
4pm 64°
5pm 61°
6pm 59°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
2:00p
Judge Alex
2:30p
Judge Alex
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:00p
Taken
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld