Regional Group Plans Grower Survey and Research Group Focused on Herbicide Drift onto Specialty Crops

Oct. 19, 2020
Meeting notes

The October 2 online meeting of the Herbicide Drift Risk Management Special Project Group drew 33 attendees from 14 states. The meeting’s main purpose was to discuss a proposed survey of specialty crop growers that would examine the severity and frequency of drift damage across the region.

Meeting attendees shared relevant research and interests as well as their state’s drift situation. Attendees from Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, and Tennessee shared anecdotal evidence that specialty crop growers are experiencing drift but not reporting it with their state departments of agriculture, reinforcing the potential utility of a grower survey. Results could help guide policy on regulation and reporting, focus educational efforts, and substantiate further research on drift management and prevention.

The group identified crops that were particularly important to the region and sensitive to herbicide drift. Some of these included grapes, tomatoes, cucurbits, apples, peaches, potatoes, small fruits, diversified vegetable operations, and hops. Nursery and ornamental growers are also a major commodity group often affected by drift but may be outside of our group’s area of expertise.

A small group of attendees volunteered to work on developing the survey tool, but all members of the group will have a chance to review it. Meeting attendees were asked to help make their growers aware of the survey to help increase response rates.Surveys will be distributed to growers in December/January so that the study can be promoted at winter grower events.

The group also discussed creating a regular national gathering of researchers interested in collaborating and promoting herbicide drift concerns.Watch for more details on this opportunity or add yourself to our mailing list by contacting project manager Cassandra Brown

Read full meeting notes.