Drifting Pesticides Wreak Havoc on Nearby Vineyards

5 years 7 months 3 weeks 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
COLUMBIA - As college students graduate across the state this week, some of them are probably doing so in debt.... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, May 15 2019 May 15, 2019 Wednesday, May 15, 2019 3:08:00 PM CDT May 15, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY — Missouri's top prosecutor says a proposal to reduce the workloads of attorneys who represent indigent defendants doesn't... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, May 15 2019 May 15, 2019 Wednesday, May 15, 2019 3:06:31 PM CDT May 15, 2019 in Continuous News
AUDRAIN COUNTY -- A mid-Missouri toddler with a debilitating birth defect is getting the gift of mobility from his father.... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, May 15 2019 May 15, 2019 Wednesday, May 15, 2019 2:10:00 PM CDT May 15, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A key scouting organization in mid-Missouri is now making fundraising mandatory for scouts. Doug Callahan, of the... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, May 15 2019 May 15, 2019 Wednesday, May 15, 2019 2:05:00 PM CDT May 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Senators took to the floor Wednesday to debate House Bill 126 , an anti-abortion measure known... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, May 15 2019 May 15, 2019 Wednesday, May 15, 2019 1:54:00 PM CDT May 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police have identified and arrested a fifth suspect in connection with the early morning shooting near the intersection... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, May 15 2019 May 15, 2019 Wednesday, May 15, 2019 10:33:00 AM CDT May 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Nate Hart works with water every day as a supervisor for Missouri American Water. He said it’s... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, May 15 2019 May 15, 2019 Wednesday, May 15, 2019 8:53:00 AM CDT May 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Senate is expected to take up what some are calling the “strongest pro-life bill... More >>
4 days ago Wednesday, May 15 2019 May 15, 2019 Wednesday, May 15, 2019 8:15:00 AM CDT May 15, 2019 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Lawmakers are concerned the more than 24 hour-long filibuster and a looming session deadline may put some... More >>
5 days ago Tuesday, May 14 2019 May 14, 2019 Tuesday, May 14, 2019 7:24:00 PM CDT May 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The UM Board of Curators on Wednesday approved the highest tuition increase in the system's recent history, effectively... More >>
5 days ago Tuesday, May 14 2019 May 14, 2019 Tuesday, May 14, 2019 5:55:00 PM CDT May 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - One of the most colorful places in Columbia is hidden from plain view behind the Shelter Insurance building... More >>
5 days ago Tuesday, May 14 2019 May 14, 2019 Tuesday, May 14, 2019 5:17:00 PM CDT May 14, 2019 in News
SEDALIA - Sedalia Police said they have arrested two people in connection with a Monday shooting. 24-year-old Tyler J.... More >>
5 days ago Tuesday, May 14 2019 May 14, 2019 Tuesday, May 14, 2019 4:26:00 PM CDT May 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The longest filibuster of this legislative session came to an end Tuesday night. After a group... More >>
5 days ago Tuesday, May 14 2019 May 14, 2019 Tuesday, May 14, 2019 3:16:00 PM CDT May 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An Eldon man was sentenced in federal court Tuesday engaging in illicit sex acts with a child... More >>
5 days ago Tuesday, May 14 2019 May 14, 2019 Tuesday, May 14, 2019 2:59:00 PM CDT May 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia School Board announced a program that will provide free feminine products across all high schools. ... More >>
5 days ago Tuesday, May 14 2019 May 14, 2019 Tuesday, May 14, 2019 2:55:00 PM CDT May 14, 2019 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - The future of a crumbling Jefferson City building now hangs in the legal balance, as lawsuits have... More >>
5 days ago Tuesday, May 14 2019 May 14, 2019 Tuesday, May 14, 2019 2:44:00 PM CDT May 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight announced Tuesday he would not file charges in circuit court against Ricky Gurley... More >>
5 days ago Tuesday, May 14 2019 May 14, 2019 Tuesday, May 14, 2019 2:43:00 PM CDT May 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Local school sports and activities will now not have to travel so far for away games.  Columbia... More >>
5 days ago Tuesday, May 14 2019 May 14, 2019 Tuesday, May 14, 2019 2:40:00 PM CDT May 14, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 52°
8am 50°
9am 52°
10am 55°
11am 58°