In the winter and early spring of 2021 a convenience survey was distributed to specialty crop growers in the North Central United States to explore their experiences and awareness with herbicide drift damage on their crops. Of the 286 responses, 66% had experienced confirmed or suspected drift damage on their operations between 2016 and 2020. More than half of the respondents reported drift damage multiple times during this period, and 20% said they had experienced drift damage at least once a year during this 5-year period. Damage was characterized as moderate or severe by 21-31% of respondents, depending on the growing season. Reports of drift damage were significantly higher for respondents who grew grapes.
While drift incidences were high among the respondents, fewer than 30% reported they had filed a pesticide drift complaint with their state agency in 2019 and 2020; and only 9% of respondents with damage said they filed a complaint any time they had damage. The most common reasons for not reporting drift damage were concerns with creating bad relationships with neighboring farms (46%) and seeing no benefit in filing a complaint (37%) or feeling that any consequences to offenders would not be meaningful (29%). Respondents who had multiple cases of drift were significantly less likely to report.
The survey results indicate that much drift damage is going unreported among Midwest specialty crop growers and that drift continues to be a persistent, recurring, and disruptive problem for these growers. (168 words)
Video of Results Presentation and Working Group Discussion from May 24, 2022
00:00-17:45 ......Project Background and Results Presentation
18:15-1:25:37 ...Group Discussion
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