Dicamba and Grapes
Jun 11, 2017
A grape grower in Texas has a serious concern that will affect many more of us soon.
"As a wine grape grower near the Texas Gulf Coast, we face many potential disasters. Just when it appears that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, the various pesticide manufacturers keep coming up with new and improved ways to kill ‘weeds’ in row crops. Unfortunately, grapes are far more susceptible to damage by herbicide drift than many other crops, even tomatoes.
With the desire to control brush and weeds in pastures, 2, 4-D and Dicamba compounds are quite popular. Their tendency to volatilize and drift is the cause for major concern. There have been incidences in Washington State where grapevines were damaged by herbicide volatilizing, entering an air inversion and drifting over 50 miles.
Texas A&M has a program called Hit the Target, where producers can identify sensitive crops and applicators can then view the actual sites on satellite photos."
That's from Bill Christopher, Christopher Family Vineyards, Goliad, Texas
Bill, thanks for the heads up. I'll talk more about this soon, but my experience sadly matches yours. I wiped out our grapes years ago using dicamba and sloppy spraying.
The vines were over 100 feet from the field. With the introduction of new bean varieties and intense pressure from glyphosate resistant weeds, the potential for off-target damage is high. Farmers need to raise their production practices to fulfill their responsibility to their neighbors. And those neighbors may be farther than next door.
This new technology has stringent application rules and devastating potential if those rules are ignored. We talk a lot about sustainability. This year is a time to demonstrate accountability.