Drifting Pesticides Wreak Havoc on Nearby Vineyards

5 years 8 months 10 minutes ago Tuesday, September 24 2013 Sep 24, 2013 Tuesday, September 24, 2013 7:40:00 AM CDT September 24, 2013 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
ROCHEPORT – Severe flooding is happening across mid-Missouri and in Rocheport the flooding is leaving a finacial impact on businesses.... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 7:57:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
ELDON - Married couple and business partners Jennifer and Jeremy Hart are counting their blessings after the historic motel they... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 4:33:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Twenty years after the Columbine High School shooting, many parents have only tepid confidence in school safety, according... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 3:16:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department released an official request for volunteers Saturday morning following Wednesday's EF-3 tornado.... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 1:56:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
ELDON - Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) spent his Saturday touring the path of destruction Wednesday's tornadoes left behind. Hawley... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 1:39:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department is investigating two incidents of alleged looting involving three individuals Friday afternoon... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, May 25 2019 May 25, 2019 Saturday, May 25, 2019 1:18:00 PM CDT May 25, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Neighbors in Jefferson City were already watching the Missouri River rise, but no one planned on an... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 11:42:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - According to the Callaway County Sheriff's Office, water was over the runways at Jefferson City Airport in Callaway... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 8:09:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in Coverage From Callaway
JEFFERSON CITY - Insurance companies will inspect and process claims for damaged homes over the weekend. Wednesday night's tornado badly... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 6:48:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A man involved in a car crash on I-70 May 16 has died from his injuries. William... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 6:31:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - The Missouri River has completely overflowed its banks near the end of South Route N. near Ashland.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 6:16:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City is offering instructions on how to get rid of the debris created by Wednesday's tornado.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 5:08:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Insurance agents are warning people hit by Wednesday's tornado to be careful about signing repair contracts. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 3:26:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Volunteers from all over Jefferson City are working to help those affected by the tornado. The... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 2:37:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Members from House of Refuge are keeping their faith after Wednesday's tornado completely destroyed their church. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 1:37:00 PM CDT May 24, 2019 in Top Stories
ROCHEPORT - The 11th annual Pedaler's Jamboree bike ride got a good start Friday, and Missouri River levels are falling.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 10:47:00 AM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Friday signed a bill that bans abortions on or beyond the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 10:32:00 AM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Task Force 1 has deactivated from Jefferson City after an EF-3 tornado swept through the area... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 24 2019 May 24, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019 9:11:00 AM CDT May 24, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
1am 70°
2am 69°
3am 69°
4am 69°