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Re: Cotton farmers and iris gardeners

From: Dana Brown <ddbro@llano.net>

> 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.).
	While this may be true where you are, down here where cotton is king
most chemicals are applied in one of two ways. #1 By crop dusters, who
are about as far from careful as you can get.  Many are the trees,
flowers and critters damaged by their overspraying.  It is not at all
unusual to have to wash your windshield to get the spray off after some
crop duster has buzzed over your head while you were driving on a major
highway! This includes their use of defoliants!! Just a few years ago a
friends goat herd was "accidently" sprayed by one of these
professionals.  Not only did he spray most of the goat herd but they
also sprayed to pregnant mares (who lost their foals as a direct result)
but he also sprayed my friend as she stood out there screaming at him on
his THIRD pass over her property.  Her lungs have not recovered and per
her doctor they never will.  #2 Is those cute little machines that are
driven/pulled down through the rows with people sitting out on the wings
and spraying.  I know from personal experience that the people handling
the spray wands are usually teenagers wearing no masks, gloves or any
other type of protection and who have had about as much training in the
proper use of herbicides as my dog has.  He knows not to dig up and iris
and they know not to spray a cotton plant.  According to the boys who
help me weed that was the extent of their training.
Dana Brown, Lubbock, Texas  Zone 7 Usda, Zone 10 Sunset
Average:   rainfall of 17.76", wind speed of 12.5 mph, 164 days
of clear weather, 96 of which dip below freezing.

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