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Cotton farmers and iris gardeners

From: Bill Shear <BILLS@hsc.edu>

>>         One final thought, most of the commercial nurseries that I have
>> visited have to use chemicals to maintain their iris properly.  Should
>> they get rid of their flowers because "they have too much garden"?
>>         Off my soapbox and back to lurking!!
>> --
>> mailto:ddbro@llano.net
>> Dana Brown, Lubbock, Texas  Zone 7 Usda, Zone 10 Sunset
>	Dana, this is the best response yet on this subject.

No, it isn't.

We've been confusing two quite different things in this thread: commercial
farming (be it irises or cotton) and home gardening.

Commercial operations are under the scrutiny of regulators and by law use
most herbicides and pesticides at significantly lower concentrations than
those recommended on the labels of the same products sold to the home
gardener. The herbicides and pesticides are usually applied by trained
personnel who take every safety precaution (respirators, etc.).

Home gardeners who use herbicides on relatively small plots or at very
frequent intervals are likely to vastly increase their personal exposure to
these substances, for reasons I've already mentioned.

Let me reiterate that I am not against the use of pesticides in situations
where it is deemed appropriate--including large-scale agriculture.  I hope
that at some point in the future IPM will become advanced enough to
eliminate much of this pesticide use.  I believe it will as the costs of
pesticides, both direct costs and indirect enviromental costs, increase.

Please remember that it is in the economic interests of manufacturers and
retailers of pesticides to convince us that we need these substances, even
if we don't.

I am against the use of HERBICIDES IN THE HOME GARDEN under nearly all
circumstances, and have explained my position previously.

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374

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