Drifting Pesticides Wreak Havoc on Nearby Vineyards

2 years 7 months 1 week 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
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A former police officer for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, is accused... More >>
52 minutes ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 8:03:02 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have advanced a "personhood" measure that backers said will protect the unborn and opponents... More >>
1 hour ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 7:09:10 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MU Health employees filed a lawsuit against the hospital and claimed MU Health "knowingly and willfully failed and... More >>
2 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 6:06:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Centers for Disease Control said more than 50 percent of children with ADHD between 2-5 years old... More >>
3 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 5:50:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City Mayor Sly James says the city will not hold an election this year... More >>
4 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 4:50:26 PM CDT in Continuous News
FORT LEONARD WOOD - First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden paid a visit to Thayer Elementary... More >>
4 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 4:15:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Supreme Court judges have ruled against what some called a tax loophole for doughnut holes.... More >>
4 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 3:58:49 PM CDT in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have approved the creation of a commission to review the University of Missouri System's... More >>
5 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 3:46:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Toddlers have shot seven people in Missouri since 2015, according to a Washington Post analysis. Only Georgia had... More >>
6 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 2:52:00 PM CDT in News
JOPLIN (AP) — A man who left a Joplin hospital against medical advice after he was wounded by police is... More >>
6 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 2:02:59 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A woman who was charged with abandoning her baby in a Manhattan subway station in 2014... More >>
7 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 1:50:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Legislature has voted to override the governor and block a wage hike for home-care... More >>
7 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 1:43:00 PM CDT in News
LIBERTY (AP) — Authorities said that a building has partially collapsed on the historic square in the Kansas City suburb... More >>
7 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 1:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - An Illinois man was taken into custody Monday night charged with dismembering a human body. Police arrested... More >>
7 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 1:17:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia bought new billing software designed to make utility bills easier to read. The... More >>
7 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 12:57:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The United Way of Central Missouri's 2016 campaign theme was revealed with a mini parade Tuesday morning.... More >>
8 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 12:23:00 PM CDT in News
BOONVILLE - The Boonville Police Department's new K-9, Vik, passed the certification to be a Police Utility Dog, according to... More >>
10 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 10:18:00 AM CDT in News
WARRENTON, Mo. — A black bear briefly trapped by Missouri wildlife experts clearly has made some tracks across the state... More >>
11 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 9:17:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 60°
9pm 59°
10pm 57°
11pm 56°
12am 54°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
Chicago Fire
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
8:00p
Containment
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
Containment
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld